Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stowers Institute researchers identify stem cell niche

23.10.2003


A research team led by scientists at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have discovered the location in mice where hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside, often called the HSCs’ microenvironment or "niche." The team also identified mechanisms involved in controlling the size of the niche and the number of adult HSCs the body produces. This research has solved the puzzle of the hematopoietic stem cell niche first articulated more than 25 years ago and has defined its essential features in both cellular and molecular terms.



The findings are reported in the Oct. 23 issue of Nature.

HSCs are a population of bone marrow cells capable of self-renewal and production of all types of blood cells. Normally these cells cannot function properly outside their exclusive niche. According to Stowers Institute Assistant Investigator Linheng Li, Ph.D., who led the study, the niche not only provides a home for the HSCs but also regulates their numbers. Gaining greater understanding of the stem cell’s niche and its regulatory signals is an important advance toward the goal of using stem cells for therapeutic purposes.


The research team found that a particular subset of osteoblastic cells, called SNO (spindle-shaped N-cadherin-positive osteoblastic) cells, line the surface of trabecular bone in the marrow cavity, support hematopoietic stem cells, and constitute the primary cellular component of the niche where HSCs reside. By interrupting the signaling pathway through the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) receptor, the team showed that the size of the HSC niche and the number of HSCs could be increased. They concluded that a change in the size of this niche determines the number of stem cells produced, and the BMP signaling pathway controls the niche size and thus the number of stem cells.

"Although we have identified the SNO cells as an important cellular component of the HSC niche, whether SNO cells alone are sufficient to maintain HSCs, particularly in vitro, is not clear at this point," Dr. Li said. "This merits further investigation."

Dr. Li’s findings are corroborated in studies undertaken independently by a group of scientists working at the University of Rochester and at Harvard Medical School and published simultaneously in the October 23 issue of Nature.

"Jim and Virginia Stowers believe that highest quality basic research will point the way to more effective means of preventing and curing disease," said William Neaves, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Stowers Institute. "The work published by Dr. Li and his colleagues in the October 23 issue of Nature typifies the results envisioned by them. His findings open new opportunities for research on the stem cell niche and could eventually lead to more effective methods of restoring stem cells in the bone marrow of cancer patients after radiation and chemotherapy."

Joining Stowers Institute scientists in conducting the study were researchers from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. In addition to his primary appointment at the Stowers Institute, Dr. Li holds a faculty appointment at the University of Kansas School of Medicine.


Situated on a 10-acre campus in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri, the Stowers Institute for Medical Research conducts research on the fundamental processes of cellular life. Through basic research of the highest quality, the Stowers Institute seeks insights that will lead to more effective ways of preserving health and preventing disease. The Institute was founded in 1994 by Jim and Virginia Stowers, two cancer survivors who have dedicated their fortune to supporting the basic research that will provide long-term solutions to gene-based diseases.

Laurie Wimberly | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.stowers-institute.org/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>