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Theory of single stem cell for blood components challenged
Date:3/4/2010

HOUSTON -- (March 5, 2010) Components of the blood or hematopoietic system derive from stem cell subtypes rather than one single stem cell that gives rise to all the different kinds of blood cells equally, said scientists from Baylor College of Medicine (www.bcm.edu) in a report that appears in the current issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell (www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/)

"While previous reports in journals have hinted at the possibility of stem cell subtypes, this study represents the clearest data to show that is true," said Dr. Margaret Goodell, director of the Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine (STaR) Center (www.bcm.edu/star/) at BCM. "From a scientific point of view, it's making us re-evaluate the view of the stem cells that come from adults. It challenges the dogma that there is one type of stem cell."

She and the report's first author, Dr. Grant A. Challen, a postdoctoral associate in the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy (www.bcm.edu/genetherapy/) at BCM, said that the stem cell subtypes they identified meet the strictest criteria.

To accomplish this, Challen, Goodell and their colleagues used a special dye technique to discriminate the different hematopoietic stem cell subtypes myeloid, which have a preference for giving rise to red blood cells, macrophages (non-specific immune cells that engulf foreign bodies) and similar cells; and lymphoid, which similarly preferentially give rise to the body's immune system cells.

By transplanting single stem cells into individual mice, Challen was able to confirm that these subtypes exist and act as the researchers had thought. The subtypes also maintain a stable population of the stem cells over time, another characteristic of these progenitor cells.

"We cannot rule out that there is a sin
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Contact: Glenna Picton
picton@bcm.edu
713-798-4710
Baylor College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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