Reported in the Feb. 3, 2013, issue of the journal Nature Medicine, the researchers explored what had first appeared to be an anomaly among certain genetically modified mice with an abundance of epidermal growth factor in their bone marrow. The mice were protected from radiation damage, and the researchers questioned how this occurred.
"Epidermal growth factor was not known to stimulate hematopoiesis, which is the formation of blood components derived from hematopoietic stem cells," said senior author John Chute, M.D., a professor of medicine and professor of pharmacology and cancer biology at Duke University. "However, our studies demonstrate that the epidermal growth promotes hematopoietic stem cell growth and regeneration after injury."
Hematopoietic stem cells, which constantly churn out new blood and immune cells, are highly sensitive to radiation damage. Protecting these cells or improving their regeneration after injury could benefit patients who are undergoing bone marrow transplantation, plus others who suffer radiation injury from accidental environmental exposures such as the Japanese nuclear disaster in 2011.
The Duke researchers launched their investigation using mice specially bred with deletions of two genes that regulate the death of endothelial cells, which line the inner surface of blood vessels and are thought to regulate the fate of hematopoietic stem cells. Blood vessels and the hematopoietic system in these mice were less damaged when exposed to high doses of radiation, improving their survival.
An analysis of secretions from bone marrow endothelial cells of the protected mice showed that epidermal growth factor (EGF) was significantly elevated - up to 18-fold higher than what was found in the serum of control mice. The researchers then tested whether EGF could directly spur the growth of stem cells in irradiated bone marrow cultured in the lab. It did, with significant recovery of stem cells capable of repopulating transplanted mice.
Next, the Duke team tried the approach in mice using three different solutions of cells in animals undergoing bone marrow transplants. One group received regular bone marrow cells; a second group got bone marrow cells from donors that had been irradiated and treated with EGF; a third group got bone marrow cells from irradiated donors treated with saline.
The regular bone marrow cells proliferated well and had the highest rate of engraftment in the recipient mice. But mice that were transplanted with the cells from irradiated/EGF-treated donors had 20-fold higher engraftment rate than the third group.
Additional studies showed that EGF improved survival from a lethal radiation exposure, with 93 percent of mice surviving the radiation dose if they subsequently received treatment with EGF, compared to 53 percent surviving after treatment with a saline solution.
Chute said it appears that EGF works by repressing a protein called PUMA that normally triggers stem cell death following radiation exposure.
"We are just beginning to understand the mechanisms through which EGF promotes stem cell regeneration after radiation injury," Chute said. "This study suggests that EGF might have potential to accelerate the recovery of the blood system in patients treated with chemotherapy or radiation."
In addition to Chute, study authors include Phuong L. Doan, Heather A. Himburg, Katherine Helms, J. Lauren Russell, Emma Fixsen, Mamle Quarmyne, Jeffrey R. Harris, Divino Deoliviera, Julie M. Sullivan, Nelson J. Chao and David G. Kirsch.
The study was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (HL-086998-01); the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (AI-067798-06, AI-067798-01); the National Institutes of Health (T32 HL0070757-33); the Barton Haynes Award and Duke University.
Sarah Avery | EurekAlert!
NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses