Archive by category | Tissue-specific stem cells

Blood-forming and esophageal stem cells: find, see, manipulate

Blood-forming stem cells have recently garnered some attention. Genzyme’s drug to boost circulating stem cells in patients with blood cancers won FDA approval on Monday. Here is Genzyme’s description of its small molecule chemokine receptor antagonist. Also, two research teams from Stanford have found ways to make artificial versions of the microenvironments where blood forms (See below), and a third team from Germany and Switzerland describes away to track individual blood-forming stem cells .  Read more

Stem-cell transplant seems to fend off HIV

A bone marrow transplant seems to have suppressed HIV virus levels in blood. These results have been observed in a single patient and have not yet been reported in the peer-reviewed literature. According to news reports, a man infected with the AIDS virus received a bone marrow transplant as part of leukemia treatment. The donor of the bone marrow was naturally resistant to HIV infection because of a mutation in the CCR5 protein that the virus uses to gain entry into the cells it infects. Afterwards, the patient stopped taking his AIDS drugs. Twenty months later, though they cannot conclude that the virus has been vanquished, doctors cannot find evidence of leukemia or HIV in the 42-year-old patient.  Read more

Aging stem cells: trade-offs between vigor and cancer

Two papers from the University of Michigan show how tissue-specific stem cells trade regenerative potential to control unwanted proliferation. One, in fly testes from Yukiko Yamasita, shows that cells halt their division if the daughter cells would be misoriented. The other, in mice brains, shows how gene expression changes with age to favor decreased regeneration with decreased risk for tumorigenesis.  Read more