Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Stem Cells, Cellular Therapy & Biobanking
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Bone-marrow Environment Helps Fight Infection

Published: Monday, September 16, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, September 16, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Scientists identify bone-marrow environment that leads to production of infection-fighting T and B cells.

The Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern has deepened the understanding of the environment within bone marrow that nurtures stem cells, this time identifying the biological setting for specialized blood-forming cells that produce the infection-fighting white blood cells known as T cells and B cells.

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 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.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

CRI Identifies Emergency Blood-formation Response
Researchers report that when tissue damage occurs, an emergency blood-formation system activates.
Friday, November 20, 2015
CRI Scientists See Through Bones
Findings uncover new details about blood-forming stem cells.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Regenerative Medicine Biologists Discover a Cellular Structure that Explains Fate of Stem Cells
The findings are presented in the journal Nature.
Thursday, July 02, 2015
Cell that Replenishes Heart Muscle Found by UT Southwestern Researchers
Researchers devise a new cell-tracing technique to detect cells that do replenish themselves.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Rare Stem Cells in Testis that Hold Potential for Infertility Treatments Identified
Rare stem cells in testis that produce a biomarker protein called PAX7 help give rise to new sperm cells — and may hold a key to restoring fertility, research by scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center suggests.
Friday, September 05, 2014
Cancer Biologists Link Tumor Suppressor Gene to Stem Cells
The findings appear online in the journal eLife.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Stem Cell Study Opens Door to Undiscovered World of Biology
Discovery published in Nature measures protein production.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Researchers Generate New Neurons in Brains, Spinal Cords of Mammals
Researchers created new nerve cells without the need of stem cell transplants.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Scientists Find that Estrogen Promotes Blood-Forming Stem Cell Function
Research could provide potential opportunities for improved treatment of blood cancers and enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
Monday, January 27, 2014
UTSW Researchers Identify New Potential Target for Cancer Therapy
Researchers have found that alternative splicing – a process that allows a single gene to code for multiple proteins – appears to be a new potential target for anti-telomerase cancer therapy.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Gene Found that Regenerates Heart Tissue
UT Southwestern researchers identify gene that regenerates heart tissue – critical finding for heart failure prevention.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
UT Southwestern Researchers Identify Mechanism that Maintains Stem Cells
Immune-system receptor maintains stemness of normal adult stem cells and helps leukemia cells growth.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Human Melanomas in Mice Predict Skin Cancer
Spread of human melanoma cells in mice correlates with clinical outcomes in patients, UTSW investigators find.
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Genetic Manipulation Boosts Growth of Brain Cells Linked to Learning
Genetic manipulation enhances effects of antidepressants, UT Southwestern researchers report.
Friday, March 09, 2012
Blood-forming Stem Cells' Growth Identified in First Breakthrough from New Institute
Endothelial and perivascular cells are responsible for nurturing haematopoietic stem cells.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Scientific News
Ancient Viral Molecules Essential for Human Development
Genetic material from ancient viral infections is critical to human development, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
CRI Identifies Emergency Blood-formation Response
Researchers report that when tissue damage occurs, an emergency blood-formation system activates.
New Way to Force Stem Cells to Become Bone Cells
Potential therapies based on this discovery could help people heal bone injuries or set hardware, such as replacement knees and hips.
Dead Bacteria to Kill Colorectal Cancer
Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) have successfully used dead bacteria to kill colorectal cancer cells.
Promise of Newborn Stem Cells to Revolutionize Clinical Practice
In this article Shweta Sharma, PhD, discusses the potential of an Umbilical Cord Blood bank as an untapped source of samples for research and clinical trials.
The Life Story of Stem Cells
A model analyses the development of stem cell numbers in the human body.
Novel Stem Cell Line Avoids Risk of Introducing Transplanted Tumors
Progenitor cells might eventually be used to repair or rebuild damaged or destroyed organs.
Advancing Genome Editing of Blood Stem Cells
Genome editing techniques for blood stem cells just got better, thanks to a team of researchers at USC and Sangamo BioSciences.
Molecule Proves Key to Brain Repair After Stroke
Scientists found that a molecule known as growth and differentiation factor 10 (GDF10) plays a key role in repair mechanisms following stroke.
Towards Patient-Specific Drug Screening
A new breakthrough by the 3D stem cell printing team at Heriot-Watt could pave the way to individually tailored drug testing regimes, both reducing the need for animal testing and ensuring that patients receive drugs which are most effective for their individual needs.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos