Scientists Discover A New Method To Expand Adult Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs)!

A team of researchers headed by Professor Yupo Ma at Stony Brook University School of Medicine have come up with a new way of proliferating (dividing/expanding) HSCs or hematopoietic stem cells. They used SALL4 gene which helped in a 10,000 fold increase of these HSCs that were extracted from human bone marrow.

HSCs can be used in treating blood disorders including lymphoma and leukemia. Moreover, these stem cells have a key role during bone marrow transplantation procedures.

With this new technique, patients awaiting a suitable marrow donor can breathe a sigh of relief as these cells can now be generated in large quantities and used as a treatment option.

Through this study it was discovered that SALL4 gene produces a protein that acts as a stimulator for the growth and division of HSCs.

SALL4, the stem cell gene was transferred to HSCs of human bone marrow with the help of a viral delivery system. The team was able to generate HSC’s that were increased to 10,000 to 15,000 fold in number.

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