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Discarded immune cells induce the relocation of stem cells
Date:5/23/2013

Madrid, 23 May 2013.- CNIC researchers have discovered that the daily clearance of neutrophils from the body stimulates the release of hematopoietic stem cells from the bone marrow into the bloodstream, according to a report published today in the journal Cell.

Neutrophils are leukocytes (white blood cells) that defend the body against attack from bacteria and other disease organisms. To perform their function, these cells release toxic substances when they come into contact with microorganisms. However, release of these substances in the wrong place by damaged neutrophils can result in severe injury to blood vessels and tissues. Evolution appears to have resolved this conflict by ensuring that neutrophils are renewed much more rapidly than most other cells in the body: approximately 1011 neutrophils are eliminated every day and an equivalent number of stem cells are released into the bloodstream. This in turn generates a second problem: what to do with all these cells that have to be eliminated.

Dr. Andrs Hidalgo and his team in the Department of Epidemiology, Atherosclerosis and Cardiovascular Imaging, led by Dr. Valentn Fuster, have discovered the function of these neutrophils expelled every day by the body.

Graduate student Mara Casanova Acebes (Universidad Autnoma de Madrid), found that when additional apoptotic neutrophils were injected into mice, there was an increase in the number of circulating hematopoietic stem cells, the cells that generate all blood cells.

Using a wide variety of experimental approaches, including imaging assays, pharmacological treatments and genetic analysis, the team showed that when neutrophils in the blood get old, they migrate to the bone marrow to be eliminated by specialized phagocytotic cells called macrophages. The act of phagocytosing the neutrophils alters these macrophages' genetic properties and functions, and these changes in turn alter the function of specialized cells whose job it is to retai
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Contact: Ainhoa Iriberri
airiberri@cnic.es
34-610-295-556
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares
Source:Eurekalert

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