Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bone marrow cells take on new role in the brain, say Stanford researchers

05.02.2003


Researchers in the Baxter Laboratory at Stanford University Medical Center have published new evidence showing that cells from the bone marrow might help repair or maintain cells in other tissues. In a paper in this week’s online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers describe finding chromosomes from a bone marrow transplant in the brain cells of transplant recipients.



When people receive a bone marrow transplant after high-dose chemotherapy, some of the transplanted cells regenerate the blood-making cells that were destroyed. In past experiments in mice, Helen Blau, PhD, the Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Professor of Pharmacology at the School of Medicine, found that cells from the transplant could also relocate to tissues throughout the body rather than being restricted to the bone marrow and blood.

"Now we know that it can also happen in humans," said James Weimann, PhD, first author on the paper and a senior research scientist in Blau’s lab.


Blau and Weimann looked at brain samples taken from women who underwent chemotherapy to treat their leukemia and then later received bone marrow transplants from male donors. These samples were ideal for this experiment because the donor cells contained a Y sex chromosome whereas cells in the women contained only X chromosomes. Any Y chromosome that Blau and Weimann identified must have come from the transplant donor.

To look for the telltale Y chromosome, the researchers used molecules with a double identity. One part of the molecule could bind to either the X or Y chromosome, while the other part acted as a fluorescent molecular beacon. The molecule that bound the X chromosome had a red beacon whereas the Y-recognizing molecule had a green beacon. When they put these stains on the preserved samples, the X chromosomes glowed red and any Y chromosomes glowed green. Weimann then searched the samples under a microscope for green chromosomes in the brain tissue.

As expected, blood cells within the brain contained Y chromosomes because they were made by bone marrow cells from the transplant. The researchers also found five nerve cells called Purkinje cells - involved in controlling balance and movement - that contained Y chromosomes in addition to their original X chromosomes. These out-of-place chromosomes could only have come from male cells in the bone marrow transplant.

Blau suspects the Purkinje cells may have gotten their Y chromosome from a group of traveling bone marrow cells. "I think these cells may act as a repair squad," Blau said. The cells travel the bloodstream, respond to stress and repair damaged tissues such as brain, muscle and possibly others throughout the body. She added that in some cases the bone marrow cells might fuse with damaged cells while in other instances they transform to replace the cells.

She said the next steps are to learn which cells in the bone marrow act as the repair squad, how these cells are lured to tissues and how they repair damage once they get there. "If we can learn what the signals are, we may be able to direct the repair cells to where they are needed," Blau said. "Wouldn’t it be terrific if we could enlist the body to treat its own disease?"

Blau added that adult bone marrow cells may be particularly useful for treating some diseases or some tissues but not others. "We need to study all types of stem cells," she said.

Other Stanford researchers who contributed to this work include Carol Charlton, PhD, a research associate, and graduate student Timothy Brazelton, PhD.


PRINT MEDIA CONTACT: Amy Adams at (650) 723-3900 (amyadams@stanford.edu)
BROADCAST MEDIA CONTACT: Neale Mulligan at (650) 724-2454 (nealem@stanford.edu)

Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. For more information, please visit the Web site of the medical center’s Office of Communication & Public Affairs at http://mednews.stanford.edu.

Amy Adams | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://med-www.stanford.edu/MedCenter/MedSchool/
http://mednews.stanford.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>