Saturday, 22 March 2014

Research identifies source of hematopoietic stem cells

Matthew Inlay Stem Cell Research Center
Matthew Inlay
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are routinely used to treat patients with cancers and other disorders of the blood and immune system, but researchers know little about the progenitor cells that give rise to them during embryonic development.

In a study appearing in Stem Cell Reports, Matthew Inlay of the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, and faculty member of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, and Stanford University colleagues created novel cell assays that identified the earliest arising HSC precursors based on their ability to generate all major blood cell types (red blood cells, platelets and immune cells).

The discovery of very early differentiating blood cells, may be very beneficial for the creation of HSC lines for clinical treatments, said Inlay, who is an assistant professor of molecular biology & biochemistry at UC Irvine and conducted the research while a postdoctoral researcher in the Irving Weissman lab at Stanford.

"The hope is that by defining a set of markers that will allow us to make purer, cleaner populations of these precursor cells, we'll be able to reveal the key molecular events that lead to the emergence of the first HSCs in development.This could give us a step-by-step guide for creating these cells in a dish from pluripotent stem cell lines" he added.

The study was performed in collaboration with Thomas Serwold, now an assistant professor in the Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School.

References
- Inlay, M., Serwold, T., Mosley, A., Fathman, J., Dimov, I., Seita, J., & Weissman, I. (2014). Identification of Multipotent Progenitors that Emerge Prior to Hematopoietic Stem Cells in Embryonic Development Stem Cell Reports DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2014.02.001

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