In your biology class, you will have found out that lungs allow us breathe while bone marrow, seen in flat bones such as hip bone, produces red and white blood cells by way of a process called hematopoiesis. Now, University of California, Bay area (UCSF) studies have found that and also being a crucial component of our breathing, lungs also play an essential role from the production and storage of blood cells.
Like many medical breakthroughs, the scientists stumbled this discovery inadvertently. The, led by Professor Mark R. Looney, was wanting to discover how platelets (cells that form clots to prevent bleeding) circulating within the lungs meet up with the immunity mechanism in mice. To the cells’ path, the rodents has been genetically modified so your platelets appeared a glowing green.
To the scientists’ astonishment, the lungs were loaded with megakaryocytes – cells answerable for producing platelets. Though experts have always known in the existence of these cells from the lungs, they had believed the numbers to be tiny. Emma Lefran?ais, who co-wrote the study, says, “When we discovered this massive population of megakaryocytes that was currently in the lung, we realized we to check out this up.”
Further examination revealed that the megakaryocytes inside the lungs were producing over Millions of platelets, or maybe more than half the complete platelets, made by a mouse, every hour. The study also noticed the massive population (2million per mouse lung) of blood stem cells (which produce red blood cells) and even megakaryocyte progenitor cells (which generate megakaryocyte cells) for the periphery of the lungs. Looney says, “To our knowledge, here is the first description of blood progenitors resident within the lung.”
To investigate significance, the scientists conducted three studies. First, they transplanted lungs from normal mice in the genetically engineered ones to check out what sort of blood stem cells move during the entire body. By clicking on the fluorescent cells, they found megakaryocytes originate inside bone marrow but migrate towards lungs to produce platelets.
To test the sensible uses of this discovery to see if this can be valuable in dealing with disorders like lung inflammation, Looney’s team injected the fluorescent megakaryocyte progenitor cells into mice with low platelet counts. With their delight, the transplanted cells got to work immediately, restoring the platelet count on track levels within the short time. Main points even more encouraging is usually that the effect lasted for a number of months.
Finally, they transplanted healthy lungs during which all of the cells was fluorescently tagged into mice whose bone marrow weren’t producing blood cells or platelets. The study found that the glowing green megakaryocyte progenitor cells instantly migrated from the lungs for the bone marrow, where they helped to generate platelets along with other critical blood components, like neutrophils, B cells, and T cells.
While the scientists, who published their findings inside journal Nature on March 22, 2017, still will need to test if human lungs are as effective, the findings are going to be hailed as the major breakthrough. Traci Mondoro on the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, says, “Looney and the team have disrupted some traditional ideas concerning the pulmonary role in platelet-related hematopoiesis, paving the way for even more scientific exploration of this integrated biology.”
Resources: newatlas.com, UCSF.edu