During a viral infection, the body needs various defence mechanisms – amongst other things, a large number of white blood cells (leukocytes) must be produced in the bone marrow within a short period of time. In the bone marrow, stem cells are responsible for this task: the blood stem cells. In addition to white blood cells, blood stem cells also produce red blood cells and platelets.
Blood stem cells from colonies (cell clusters) in vitro consisting of different blood cells. Nine colonies are illustrated, which have developed into differentiated cell types.
Image: Department of Clinical Research of the University of Bern, Tumor-Immunology research group
The blood stem cells are located in specialized niches in the bone marrow and are surrounded by specialized niche cells. During an infection, the blood stem cells must complete two tasks: they must first recognise that more blood cells have to be produced and, secondly, they must recognise what kind of.
Now, for the first time, researchers at the Department of Medical Oncology at the University of Bern and Bern University Hospital headed by Prof. Adrian Ochsenbein have investigated how the blood stem cells in the bone marrow are regulated by the immune system's so-called T killer cells during a viral infection. As this regulation mechanism mediated by the immune system also plays an important role in other diseases such as leukaemia, these findings could lead to novel therapeutic approaches. The study is being published in the peer-reviewed journal «Cell Stem Cell» today.
T Killer cells trigger defences
One function of T killer cells is to «patrol» in the blood and remove pathogen-infected cells. However, they also interact with the blood stem cells in the bone marrow. The oncologists in Bern were able to show that messenger substances secreted by the T killer cells modulate the niche cells. In turn, the niche cells control the production and also the differentiation of the blood stem cells.
This mechanism is important in order to fight pathogens such as viruses or bacteria. However, various forms of the bone marrow disease leukaemia are caused by a malignant transformation of exactly these blood stem cells. This leads to the formation of so-called leukaemia stem cells. In both cases, the mechanisms are similar: the «good» mechanism regulates healthy blood stem cells during an infection, whilst the «bad» one leads to the multiplication of leukaemia stem cells. This in turn leads to a progression of the leukaemia.
This similarity has already been investigated in a previous project by the same group of researchers. «We hope that this will enable us to better understand and fight infectious diseases as well as bone marrow diseases such as leukaemia,» says Carsten Riether from the Department of Clinical Research at the University of Bern and the Department of Medical Oncology at Bern University Hospital and the University of Bern.Publication details
Nathalie Matter | Universität Bern
New switch decides between genome repair and death of cells
27.09.2016 | University of Cologne - Universität zu Köln
A blue stoplight to prevent runaway photosynthesis
27.09.2016 | National Institute for Basic Biology
Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of light metals.
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart have now developed two new process variants that will considerably expand the areas of application for friction stir welding.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovations.
Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of...
Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.
Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...
The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.
“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...
With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...
For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.
Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...
28.09.2016 | Event News
27.09.2016 | Event News
23.09.2016 | Event News
28.09.2016 | Earth Sciences
28.09.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.09.2016 | Event News