Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Role of the nervous system in regulating stem cells discovered

27.01.2006


Study led by Mount Sinai School of Medicine may provide new hope for cancer patients and others with compromised immune systems



New study by Mount Sinai researchers may lead to improved stem cell therapies for patients with compromised immune systems due to intensive cancer therapy or autoimmune disease. The study is published in this week’s issue of Cell.

A group, led by Paul Frenette, Associate Professor of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, found that the sympathetic--or "fight or flight" branch--of the nervous system plays a critical role in coaxing bone marrow stem cells into the bloodstream. Bone marrow cells known as hematopoietic stem cells are the source for blood and immune cells.


Hematopoietic stem cell transplants are now routinely used to restore the immune systems of patients after intensive cancer therapy and for treatment of other disorders of the blood and immune system, according to the National Institutes of Health. While physicians once retrieved the stem cells directly from bone marrow, doctors now prefer to harvest donor cells that have been mobilized into circulating blood.

In normal individuals, the continuous trafficking of the stem cells between the bone marrow and blood fills empty or damaged niches and contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cell formation, according to the researchers. Although it has been known for many years that the mobilization of hematopoietic stem cells can be enhanced by multiple chemicals, the mechanisms that regulate this critical process are largely unknown, they said.

One factor in particular, known as hematopoietic cytokine granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), is widely used clinically to elicit hematopoietic stem cell mobilization for life-saving bone marrow transplantation, said Dr. Frenette.

Several years ago, Dr. Frenette’s group reported that a second compound, fucoidan, which is synthesized by certain seaweeds, could also spur the stem cells into action. The group speculated that the seaweed derivative might work by imitating a similar compound, called sulfatide, naturally present in mammalian tissues.

To test the idea, the researchers examined mice lacking the enzyme responsible for making sulfatide.

"Lo and behold, mice lacking the enzyme Cgt did not mobilize hematopoietic stem cells at all when treated with the stimulating factor G-CSF or fucoidan," Dr. Frenette said. "You don’t get such dramatic results that often in science. We knew we had stumbled onto something important."

To their surprise, further study failed to connect the stalled stem cell movement to sulfatide. Rather, they found, the deficiency stemmed from a defect in the transmission of signals sent via the sympathetic nervous system. The products of Cgt contribute to the myelin sheath that coats and protects nerve cells, they explained.

Mice with other nervous system defects also exhibited a failure to mobilize bone marrow stem cells, they found. Moreover, drugs that stimulate the sympathetic nervous system restored stem cell movement into the blood stream in mice with an impaired ability to respond to norepinephrine, the signature chemical messenger of the sympathetic system.

"The nervous system plays an important role in producing signals that maintain the stem cell niche and retention in bone marrow," Dr. Frenette said.

"The new findings add another dimension of complexity to the processes involved in stem cell maintenance and mobilization and emphasize the interrelationships among the nervous, skeletal and hematopoietic systems," he added. "They all have to work together – to talk to each other – to produce blood and maintain stem cells."

The results suggest that differences in the sympathetic nervous systems of stem cell donors may explain "conspicuous variability" in the efficiency with which they mobilize hematopoietic cells into the bloodstream, the researchers said. Furthermore, drugs that alter the signals transmitted by the sympathetic nervous system to the stem cells in bone may offer a novel strategy to improve stem cell harvests for stem cell-based therapeutics, they added.

The unexpected findings by Frenette and his colleagues further "suggest that the pharmacological manipulation of the sympathetic nervous system may be a means of therapeutically targeting the stem cells in their niche for the purpose of either mobilization or, conversely, attracting stem cells to the niche following transplantation," they added.

Mount Sinai Press Office | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mssm.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>