Navigation Links
Distinct niches in bone marrow nurture blood stem cells
Date:2/24/2013

In research that could one day improve the success of stem cell transplants and chemotherapy, scientists have found that distinct niches exist in bone marrow to nurture different types of blood stem cells.

Stem cells in the blood are the precursors to infection-fighting white blood cells and oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

The research, by a team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is reported Feb. 24 in the advance online edition of Nature.

The new findings, in mice, suggest that it may be possible to therapeutically target support cells in a particular niche. On the one hand, a drug that nourishes support cells could encourage blood stem cells to establish themselves in the bone marrow, enabling patients who have had stem cell transplants to more quickly rebuild their immune systems.

On the other, tumor cells are known to hide in the bone marrow, and a drug that disrupts the niche environment may drive cancer cells into the bloodstream, where they are more vulnerable to the damaging effects of chemotherapy.

"Our results offer hope for targeting these niches to treat specific cancers or to improve the success of stem cell transplants," says senior author Daniel Link, MD, the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Professor of Medicine. "Already, we and others are leading clinical trials to evaluate whether it is possible to disrupt these niches in patients with leukemia or multiple myeloma."

Working in the mice, the researchers selectively deleted a critical gene, CXCL12, which is known to be important for keeping blood stem cells healthy. Rather than knock out the gene in all of the support cells in a niche, the researchers deleted the gene in specific types of support cells. This led to the discovery that each niche holds only certain blood stem cells that are nourished by a unique set of support cells.

"What we found was rather surprising," Link says. "There's not just one niche for developing blood cells in the bone marrow. There's a distinct niche for stem cells, which have the ability to become any blood cell in the body, and a separate niche for infection-fighting blood cells that are destined to become T cells and B cells."

The findings provide a strong foundation for investigating whether disrupting these niches can improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

In a phase II pilot study led by Washington University medical oncologist Geoffrey Uy, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Link is evaluating whether the drug G-CSF can alter the stem cell niche in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia whose cancer has recurred or is resistant to treatment. The drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration more than 20 years ago to stimulate production of white blood cells in patients undergoing chemotherapy, who often have weakened immune systems and are prone to infections.

But Uy and colleagues will evaluate the drug when it is given before chemotherapy. Patients enrolled in the trial at the Siteman Cancer Center will receive G-CSF for five days before chemotherapy, and the investigators will determine whether it can disrupt the protective environment of the bone marrow niche and make cancer cells more sensitive to chemotherapy.

While it's too early to know whether the treatment approach will be successful, Link's new research in mice is bolstered by a companion paper in the same issue of Nature. In that research, Sean Morrison, PhD, director of the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, used similar molecular methods to also discover distinct niches in the bone marrow for blood stem cells.

"There's a lot of interest right now in trying to understand these niches," Link adds. "Both of these studies add new information that will be important as we move forward. Next, we hope to understand how stem cell niches can be manipulated to help patients undergoing stem cell transplants."


'/>"/>

Contact: Caroline Arbanas
arbanasc@wustl.edu
314-286-0109
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists discover distinct molecular subtype of prostate cancer
2. Boston Medical Center awarded elite distinction as a 2012 Leapfrog Top Hospital
3. Fertilizing bone marrow helps answer why some cancers spread to bones
4. Markey receives $6.25 million to study deadly blood and bone marrow disease
5. HIV Drug May Prevent Bone Marrow Transplant Complication
6. HIV drug reduces graft-vs.-host disease in bone marrow transplant patients, Penn study shows
7. Clinical trial seeks to cure advanced Crohns disease using bone marrow transplant
8. Bone marrow transplant eliminates signs of HIV infection
9. HIV Undetectable in 2 Men After Bone Marrow Transplants: Study
10. New genetic clues to why most bone marrow transplant patients develop graft-versus-host disease
11. Lack of sleep affects bone health and bone marrow activity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Distinct niches in bone marrow nurture blood stem cells
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... , ... A July 5th article on Reuters Health News discusses ... a body contouring procedure reported experiencing a better quality of life, compared to other ... both types of procedures, notes that this report jibes with what they regularly hear ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... Cognition ... just announced two more sessions of its “From the Helm” Webinar Series. ... Led by David Cronin, Cognition’s CEO, the half-hour public webinars will take an ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... , ... July 18, 2017 , ... An inventor from ... quick and easy way to clean, scrub and moisturize the back and other hard-to-reach ... had surgery that limited movement in my upper body, particularly my shoulders. I found ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... ... ps pulse width and a new published paper entitled ‘Pattern analysis of ... phantom’ featured in Nature’s specialty journal Scientific Reports May 08, 2017. The ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... July 17, 2017 , ... Western University ... the Chronicle of Higher Education for the sixth consecutive year, and also made ... in Pomona, California and Lebanon, Oregon, was recognized in seven categories: Collaborative Governance, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/5/2017)... MANCHESTER, England , July 5, 2017 ... the perfect answer as physics and manufacturing combine to progress ... the thyroid, existing SPECT systems are unable to accurately quantify ... consequence, only limited information regarding the success of this radiotherapy ... ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... Md. , June 30, 2017 In ... since the start of May, at least ten diagnostic ... include private investments, public offerings and a loan facility.  ... million to almost $80 million.  Kalorama Information provides a ... of its Diagnostics Knowledge Center. ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ROTTERDAM, Netherlands and LAGUNA HILLS, ... announced the presentation of new data that validate the ... to risk stratify patients with multiple myeloma (MM). In ... of the European Hematology Association (EHA) in ... prognostic value of MMprofiler for identifying high-risk elderly patients. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: