Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Newly identified growth factor promotes stem cell growth, regeneration

22.03.2010
Scientists at Duke University Medical Center have identified a new growth factor that stimulates the expansion and regeneration of hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cells in culture and in laboratory animals.

The discovery, appearing in the journal Nature Medicine, may help researchers overcome one of the most frustrating barriers to cellular therapy: the fact that stem cells are so few in number and so stubbornly resistant to expansion.

Researchers believe that umbilical cord blood could serve as a universal source of stem cells for all patients who need a stem cell transplant, but the numbers of stem cells in cord blood units are limited, so there is a clinical need to develop a method to expand cord blood stem cells for transplantation purposes. "Unfortunately, there are no soluble growth factors identified to date that have been proven to expand human stem cells for therapeutic purposes," said John Chute, M.D., a stem cell transplant physician and cell biologist at Duke and senior author of the paper.

Chute, working with Heather Himburg, a post-doctoral fellow in his laboratory, discovered that adding pleiotrophin, a naturally-occurring growth factor, stimulated a ten-fold expansion of stem cells taken from the bone marrow of a mouse.

They also found that pleiotrophin increased the numbers of human cord blood stem cells in culture that were capable of engraftment in immune-deficient mice. When they injected pleiotrophin into mice that had received bone marrow-suppressive radiation, they observed a 10-fold increase in bone marrow stem cells compared to untreated mice. "These results confirmed that pleiotrophin induces stem cell regeneration following injury," said Chute.

Chute says the finding could lead to broader application of cord blood transplants for the large numbers of patients who do not have an immune-matched donor "Perhaps more importantly, systemic treatment with pleiotrophin may have the potential to accelerate recovery of the blood and immune system in patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy," he said.

Given the potency of the effect of pleiotrophin on stem cell expansion, the authors examined whether pleiotrophin provoked blood-forming cells to become malignant. So far, Chute says they have not seen any evidence of cancer in mice up to six months after treatment with pleiotrophin.

The Duke team is already conducting further experiments to determine if pleiotrophin is necessary for normal stem cell growth and development, and Chute says it will be important to conduct additional animal studies before moving into human clinical trials. "At this point, any progress we can make that helps us better understand which biological pathways are activated in stem cells in response to pleiotrophin will help move the discovery forward."

A grant from the National Institutes of Health supported the study.

Co-authors from Duke who contributed to the work include Pamela Daher, Sarah Meadows, Lauren Russell, Phuong Doan, Jen-Tsan Chi, Alice Salter, William Lento, Tannishtha Reya and Nelson Chao.

Michelle Gailiun | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.duke.edu

Further reports about: blood stem cells bone marrow cord blood stem cells

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cells communicate in a dynamic code
19.02.2018 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells
19.02.2018 | Biophysical Society

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Contacting the molecular world through graphene nanoribbons

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

When Proteins Shake Hands

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

Cells communicate in a dynamic code

19.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>