Low Blood Cell Counts Could Be Treated by Regulating Stem Cells.

Megakaryotes may hold the ability to regulate the amount of blood that stem cells produce.

According to new research from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, hematopoietic stem cells [stem cells that produce blood] are directly regulated by megakaryocytes, the blood cells responsible for healing wounds.  The researchers found that megakaryotes produce two growth factors; one that signals for hematopoietic stem cells to proliferate, and one that keeps them in an inactive state.  This relationship controls the amount of blood being produced in the body. Continue reading

Blood Cells Generated by Modified Stem Cell Differentiation

Researchers have identified two transcription factors that induce stem cells to differentiate into blood cells.

A research group led by Dr. Igor Slukvin, MD PHD, from University of Wisconsin-Madison has identified two transcription factors responsible for the differentiation of stem cells into numerous types of white and red blood cells.  The team made use of messenger RNA to overexpress the two transcription factors, which allowed them to generate 30 million blood cells for every million stem cells, without the use of a virus or altering the genetic structure of the blood. Continue reading

Rare Genetic Diseases Cured with Stem Cells

Translational Genomics schematic: therapy gene inserted into lentiviral vector, replaces defective gene in blood stem cells, stem cells infused with patient's blood where they expand

Recently, researchers utilized stem cells to successfully treat six children with rare genetic diseases. Three of the children were born with Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD), a hereditary neurodegenerative disease. The other three children were born with Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome (WAS), a hereditary immune system disorder.

Continue reading