Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bone marrow transplants may be improved due to the uncovering of a key mechanism

28.06.2002


Weizmann Institute scientists have uncovered a key mechanism that enables stem cells to exit the bone marrow into the blood circulation of healthy donors, as well as patients suffering from leukemia, other malignancies and blood disorders. Published in the current July issue of Nature Immunology, the findings may lead to more efficient clinical stem cell transplantations.



Bone marrow transplantation is a last-resort treatment that saves the lives of many patients with cancer and inherited blood disorders. In a transplantation, the patient’s malignant or defective stem cells in the marrow are destroyed, and healthy stem cells – either from a healthy donor or from the patient himself before or during treatment with chemotherapy – must be "encouraged" to come out of the marrow into the bloodstream (in other words, they must be "mobilized"). Thus, scientists have been trying to find out what triggers stem cell mobilization.

Dr. Tsvee Lapidot of Weizmann’s Immunology Department, and his PhD student, Isabelle Petit, found that the degradation of SDF-1, a key protein in the bone marrow, is crucial for stem cell mobilization. SDF-1 had previously been found by this and other research teams worldwide to anchor stem cells inside the marrow by activating adhesion molecules (molecules that serve as "glue"). Uncovered today is the "anchors aweigh" mechanism that frees stem cells into the blood.


The scientists investigated stimulation with the growth factor G-CSF, currently the most common clinical method used to induce stem cell mobilization. (In addition to its role in bone marrow transplantation, it is also used to treat children suffering from neutropenia, i.e. lack of white blood cells in the circulation). Before this study, G-CSF’s mode of action was largely unknown. Lapidot and Petit found that it reduces the number of SDF-1 proteins in the marrow by causing the production of degrading enzymes, in particular elastase. The result: stem cells attached to the marrow lose their "anchors" and flow into the bloodstream. Stem cells produced during SDF-1 degradation are not able to "cast anchor" to begin with and will also exit the marrow. The scientists found that stem cell mobilization peaked when SDF-1 levels in the bone marrow were at their lowest.

In addition, the team observed another of G-CSF’s effects: it causes an increase in the number of receptors of a certain type (called CXCR4) on stem cells and maturing white blood cells in the bone marrow. CXCR4 is the receptor that binds specifically with SDF-1. Surprisingly, they found that interactions between SDF-1 and CXCR4 are necessary for mobilization to take place. Inhibition of SDF-1 and CXCR4 interactions with neutralizing antibodies blocked stem cell mobilization.

The findings may lead to improved collection of stem cells for clinical transplantations. They also shed new light on neutropenia, resulting from a genetic defect in the elastase enzyme, which the group found plays a central role in degrading SDF-1.

An experimental system for human stem cells developed by Dr. Lapidot and his colleagues in 1999 enables the study of the mechanism by which human blood forming stem cells migrate from the blood into the bone marrow by transplanting human stem cells into immunodeficient mice, which lack the ability to reject foreign cells. In the current study this model was used to reveal the mechanism of human stem cell mobilization in these mice. Part of the study was also conducted with samples obtained from healthy donors treated with G-CSF for clinical stem cell transplantation.


###
The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel is one of the world’s foremost centers of scientific research and graduate study. Its 2,500 scientists, students, technicians and engineers pursue basic research in the quest for knowledge and to enhance the quality of human life. New ways of fighting disease and hunger, protecting the environment, and harnessing alternative sources of energy are high priorities at Weizmann.


Jeffrey J. Sussman | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>