Saturday, 7 March 2009

How Stem Cells Develop Into Blood Cells

The pathway works by organizing the cells so that they can respond to signals for blood development Saturday, 07 March 2009 Scientists of the McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute have discovered how messages sent within stem cells through a specific communication pathway can trigger the cells to specialize and become blood cells in humans. The finding, to be published in the March 6 issue of Cell Stem Cell, marks the first time scientists have demonstrated the importance of the pathway, known as the non-canonical Wnt, in inducing blood formation in humans or any other species. The pathway works by organizing the cells so that they can respond to signals for blood development. Dr. Mick Bhatia, director of the McMaster University Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute, is the lead investigator of the study, which involved researchers from McMaster University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Randall T. Moon Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Washington. Dr. Mick Bhatia, who led the study, received a $750,000 grant from the Canadian Cancer Society for this research. "By directing cell differentiation, this method provides the most efficient way to produce blood cells that we are aware of to date," said Bhatia. "The work also provides a new way to make blood from human stem cells that could be used for clinical applications to regenerate the immune and blood system in patients, including those with leukaemia or undergoing cancer therapies that indirectly destroy the immune and blood system." Stem cells are the building blocks of every organ and tissue in the body. Through the process of cellular differentiation, moving from a less specialized cell to a more specialize cell, stem cells have the ability to become any type of cell in the body including bone, muscle and blood cells. "By directing cell differentiation, this method provides the most efficient way to produce blood cells that we are aware of to date," he says. Dr. Bhatia is director of the McMaster University Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute. "This finding is exciting because it may provide a new way to make blood from human stem cells that could be used to regenerate the blood system in patients, including those with leukaemia or those undergoing cancer treatments that indirectly destroy the immune and blood system," says Dr. Christine Williams, Director of Research Programs at the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute. Reference: Noncanonical Wnt Signaling Orchestrates Early Developmental Events toward Hematopoietic Cell Fate from Human Embryonic Stem Cells Kausalia Vijayaragavan , Eva Szabo, Marc Bossé , Veronica Ramos-Mejia , Randall T. Moon andMickie Bhatia Cell Stem Cell, Volume 4, Issue 3, 248-262, 6 March 2009, doi:10.1016/j.stem.2008.12.011 ......... ZenMaster


For more on stem cells and cloning, go to CellNEWS at http://cellnews-blog.blogspot.com/ and http://www.geocities.com/giantfideli/index.html

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