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Blood stem cells study could pave the way for new cancer therapy

Date:
March 10, 2016
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
People with leukemia could be helped by new research that sheds light on how the body produces its blood supply. Enabling scientists to grow the stem cells artificially from pluripotent stem cells could also lead to the development of personalized blood therapies, researchers say.
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This image shows the formation of blood stem cells inside the embryonic vessel called dorsal aorta. In green is shown secreted molecule called NOGGIN, which plays an important role in this process.
Credit: The University of Edinburgh

People with leukemia could be helped by new research that sheds light on how the body produces its blood supply.

Scientists are a step closer to creating blood stem cells that could reduce the need for bone marrow transplants in patients with cancer or blood disorders.

Enabling scientists to grow the stem cells artificially from pluripotent stem cells could also lead to the development of personalized blood therapies, researchers say.

Blood stem cells are found in bone marrow and produce all blood cells in the body. These cells -- known as haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) -- help to restore blood supply in patients who have been treated for leukemia.

Researchers used a mouse model to pinpoint exactly how HSCs develop in the womb. They showed for the first time how three key molecules interact together to generate the cells, which are later found in adult bone marrow.

The discovery could help scientists to recreate this process in the lab, in the hope that HSCs could one day be developed for clinical use.

Scientists say this fundamental understanding of early development may also have an impact on other diseases that affect blood formation and supply.

The research has been published in Nature Communications.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Edinburgh. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Céline Souilhol, Christèle Gonneau, Javier G. Lendinez, Antoniana Batsivari, Stanislav Rybtsov, Heather Wilson, Lucia Morgado-Palacin, David Hills, Samir Taoudi, Jennifer Antonchuk, Suling Zhao, Alexander Medvinsky. Inductive interactions mediated by interplay of asymmetric signalling underlie development of adult haematopoietic stem cells. Nature Communications, 2016; 7: 10784 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10784

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Blood stem cells study could pave the way for new cancer therapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160310111551.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2016, March 10). Blood stem cells study could pave the way for new cancer therapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160310111551.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Blood stem cells study could pave the way for new cancer therapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160310111551.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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