The billions of blood cells we produce every day come from just a few active Hematopoietic Stem Cells in our bone marrow. Understanding more about how these hard working cells function is critical, not only to improving the treatment of blood conditions and blood cancers, such as CLL, but many medical treatments, in particular chemotherapy, because it is largely the impact on our HSCs that determines how effectively cancers can be treated. Because HSCs and their offspring are dividing so rapidly, they are inevitably impacted by chemotherapy - which is why neutropenia, thrombocytopenia (low platelets) and anaemia are often the limiting factor in how hard and how frequently chemotherapy can be given to cancer patients. A research team has developed a deep imaging technique, which has confirmed some previous findings and unearthed new information about where HSCs are located and how they are maintained by their microenvironment.
i]“With this improved understanding of the microenvironment and mechanisms that maintain [HSCs], we are closer to being able to replicate the environment for [HSCs] in culture,” Dr Morrison said.
“That achievement would significantly improve the safety and effectiveness of bone marrow transplants and potentially save thousands of additional lives each year.”
And in other Hematology Times news...
Bringing the B-cell surface into focus
New research has provided a clearer picture of the B-cell surface, unearthing new insights regarding antigen receptors.
Mature B cells have 2 classes of antigen receptors on their surface, immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin D (IgD).
Using multiple imaging techniques, researchers studied the spatial relationship of these receptor types in B cells from cell lines, mice, and human blood:
"The researchers hope these new insights into the nanoscale organization of antigen receptors will support the design of more efficient vaccines or better treatments for B-cell tumors, in which membrane organization is often altered."