Force Is Strong for Blood Stem Cells, at Least in Mice, Zebrafish Embryos: Studies Show Blood Flow and Nitric Oxide Boost Production

By Saey, Tina Hesman | Science News, June 6, 2009 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Force Is Strong for Blood Stem Cells, at Least in Mice, Zebrafish Embryos: Studies Show Blood Flow and Nitric Oxide Boost Production


Saey, Tina Hesman, Science News


Blood stem cells grow with the flow.

Two new studies, led by independent groups at Children's Hospital Boston, report that an embryo's heartbeat and blood circulation stimulate the growth of blood stem cells.

The find could be a boon to researchers seeking to make blood stem cells for people with blood cancers, immune system disorders and other diseases that require bone marrow transplants. In people, blood stem cells reside in the bone marrow and constantly replenish blood supply. Only about a third of patients who need bone marrow transplants have matching donors.

"Basically we cannot offer optimal therapy to two-thirds of patients," says Leonard Zon, director of the Stem Cell Research Program at Children's Hospital Boston and a coauthor of one of the new studies, appearing in the May 15 Cell.

Scientists can make red and white blood cells from embryonic stem cells easily in the laboratory, but producing blood stem cells, called hematopoietic stem cells, has been much more difficult, Zon says. Now, his group suggests that a little force can boost blood stem cell production in zebrafish embryos.

Reporting online May 13 in Nature, a group led by George Daley, director of the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Children's Hospital Boston, demonstrates that blood flow also triggers hematopoietic stem cell production in mouse embryos. Both groups found that nitric oxide plays a role.

Intuitively, scientists might expect that mechanical forces help shape development. But because of experimental difficulties, few biologists have studied this, says Ihor Lemischka of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. "I think we'll be seeing more of these types of studies," Lemischka says.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Force Is Strong for Blood Stem Cells, at Least in Mice, Zebrafish Embryos: Studies Show Blood Flow and Nitric Oxide Boost Production
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?