The research found that cells called early lymphoid progenitors, which are responsible for producing T cells and B cells, thrive in an environment known as an osteoblastic niche. The investigation, published online today in Nature and led by Dr. Sean Morrison, also establishes a promising approach for scientists to map the entire blood-forming system.
Scientists already know how to manufacture large quantities of stem cells that give rise to the nervous system, skin, and other tissues. But they have been unable to make blood-forming stem cells in a laboratory, in part because of a lack of understanding about the niche in which blood-forming stem cells and other progenitor cells reside in the body.
"We believe this research moves us one step closer toward the development of cell therapies in the blood-forming system that don't exist today," said Dr. Morrison, Director of the Institute and Professor of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. "In understanding the environments for blood-forming stem cells and those of different kinds of progenitor cells, we can work toward reproducing those environments in the lab and growing cells that can be transplanted to treat a host of medical conditions."
These findings eventually may help increase the safety and effectiveness of bone-marrow transplants, such as those needed after healthy marrow is destroyed by radiation or chemotherapy treatments for childhood leukemia, Dr. Morrison said. The findings also may have implications for treating illnesses associated with loss of infection-fighting cells, such as HIV and severe combined immunodeficiency disease, better known as bubble boy disease.
The Nature study augments earlier work by Dr. Morrison and his team that showed endothelial cells and perivascular cells lining the blood vessels in the bone marrow create the environment that maintains haematopoietic stem cells, which produce billions of new blood cells every day. The latest study shows that bone-forming cells create the environment that maintains early lymphoid progenitors.
"Our research documents that there are different niches, or microenvironments, for blood-forming stem cells and restricted progenitors in the bone marrow," Dr. Morrison said. "One way that bone marrow makes different kinds of blood-forming cells is by compartmentalizing them into different neighborhoods within the marrow."
The researchers identified niches for stem cells and early lymphoid progenitors by determining which cells are the sources of a growth factor (CXCL12) necessary for the proliferation of those two populations of blood-forming cells. By taking the same approach for other growth factors in the bone marrow, researchers should be able to map the niches for every kind of blood-forming progenitor cell in the bone marrow, Dr. Morrison said.
The UTSW paper's first author is Dr. Lei Ding, a former postdoctoral research fellow at the Children's Research Institute and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) at UT Southwestern. Dr. Ding is now an assistant professor at Columbia University.
Research support came from the HHMI and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
About the Children's Research Institute
Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) is a joint venture positioned to build upon the comprehensive clinical expertise of Children's Medical Center and the internationally recognized scientific environment of UT Southwestern Medical Center. CRI's mission is to perform transformative biomedical research to better understand the biological basis of disease. Established in 2011, CRI is creating interdisciplinary groups of exceptional scientists and physicians to pursue research at the interface of regenerative medicine, cancer biology and metabolism, which together hold unusual potential for discoveries that can yield groundbreaking advances in science and medicine.
This news release is available on our World Wide Web home page at www.utsouthwestern.edu/home/news/index.html
To automatically receive news releases from UT Southwestern via email, subscribe at www.utsouthwestern.edu/receivenews
Jeff Carlton | EurekAlert!
Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines
20.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik
Researchers find social cultures in chimpanzees
20.11.2018 | Universität Leipzig
Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.
Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...
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...
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...
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...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
19.11.2018 | Event News
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy