Elisabeth Manville
Jan 25, 2012

Scientists discover cells responsible for nurturing blood-forming stem cells

Scientists with Children’s Research Institute at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center identified the cells responsible for creating the environment in which haematopoietic stem cells, which produce blood cells, are nurtured. The answer is two cells that line blood vessels, endothelial and perivascular cells. Although scientists know how to make large quantities of stem cells and change them into other types of cells, including those of the nervous system and skin, they have been unsuccessful when it comes to blood-forming stem cells. “This discovery will lead to the identification of the mechanisms by which cells promote stem cell maintenance and expansion,” explains Dr. Sean Morrison, who headed the research. This latest discovery could help increase the safety and efficiency of bone-marrow and umbilical cord transplants.