Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists find estrogen promotes blood-forming stem cell function

Date:
January 22, 2014
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
Scientists have known for years that stem cells in male and female sexual organs are regulated differently by their respective hormones. In a surprising discovery, researchers have found that stem cells in the blood-forming system — which is similar in both sexes — also are regulated differently by hormones, with estrogen proving to be an especially prolific promoter of stem cell self-renewal.

Scientists have known for years that stem cells in male and female sexual organs are regulated differently by their respective hormones. In a surprising discovery, researchers at the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) and Baylor College of Medicine have found that stem cells in the blood-forming system -- which is similar in both sexes -- also are regulated differently by hormones, with estrogen proving to be an especially prolific promoter of stem cell self-renewal.

Related Articles


The research, published in Nature, raises several intriguing possibilities for further investigation that might lead to improved treatments for blood cancers and increased safety and effectiveness of chemotherapy.

Before the finding, blood-forming stem cells were thought to be regulated similarly in both males and females, according to the paper's senior author, Dr. Sean Morrison, Director of CRI, Professor of Pediatrics, and the Mary McDermott Cook Chair in Pediatric Genetics at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

However, while working in Dr. Morrison's laboratory as postdoctoral fellows, Dr. Daisuke Nakada, the first and co-corresponding author of the study, and Dr. Hideyuki Oguro discovered that blood-forming stem cells divide more frequently in females than in males due to higher estrogen levels. The research, conducted using mice, demonstrated that the activity of blood-forming stem cells was regulated by systemic hormonal signals in addition to being regulated by local changes within the blood-forming system.

"This discovery explains how red blood cell production is augmented during pregnancy," said Dr. Morrison. "In female mice, estrogen increases the proliferation of blood-forming stem cells in preparation for pregnancy. Elevated estrogen levels that are sustained during pregnancy induce stem cell mobilization and red cell production in the spleen, which serves as a reserve site for additional red blood cell production."

The study involved treating male and female mice over a period of several days with amounts of estrogen needed to achieve a level consistent with pregnancy. When an estrogen receptor that is present within blood-forming stem cells was deleted from those cells, they were no longer able to respond to estrogen, nor were they able to increase red blood cell production. The results demonstrate that estrogen acts directly on the stem cells to increase their proliferation and the number of red blood cells they generate.

"If estrogen has the same effect on stem cells in humans as in mice, then this effect raises a number of possibilities that could change the way we treat people with diseases of blood cell-formation," said Dr. Morrison. "Can we promote regeneration in the blood-forming system by administering estrogen? Can we reduce the toxicity of chemotherapy to the blood-forming system by taking into account estrogen levels in female patients? Does estrogen promote the growth of some blood cancers? There are numerous clinical opportunities to pursue."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Daisuke Nakada, Hideyuki Oguro, Boaz P. Levi, Nicole Ryan, Ayumi Kitano, Yusuke Saitoh, Makiko Takeichi, George R. Wendt, Sean J. Morrison. Oestrogen increases haematopoietic stem-cell self-renewal in females and during pregnancy. Nature, 2014; 505 (7484): 555 DOI: 10.1038/nature12932

Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Scientists find estrogen promotes blood-forming stem cell function." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122133419.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2014, January 22). Scientists find estrogen promotes blood-forming stem cell function. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122133419.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Scientists find estrogen promotes blood-forming stem cell function." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122133419.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins