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Bone Marrow Nurturers

  March, 6 2008 10:26
your information resource in human molecular genetics

Researchers have identified a new cell residing in bone marrow that provides an essential survival factor for antibody-producing B cells reports a study published online in Nature Immunology.

Bone marrow is an essential tissue at the site of all blood cell development; however, different sites within the marrow appear to support development or survival of specific types of blood cells. Steffen Jung and colleagues identified nurturing cells, called bone marrow-resident dendritic cells, or bmDCs, that reside in clusters that surround blood vessels in the marrow. Mature B cells return from the bloodstream and take up residence nestled close to the bmDCs. The bmDCs produce a factor called macrophage migration-inhibiting factor that the authors show is absolutely required for the B cell survival. Loss of the bmDCs led to simultaneous loss of the bone marrow B cells.

The new findings may lead to further research that has implications for B cell malignancies such as multiple myeloma, in which the tumor cells hijack the bone marrow, although further research into this area is required.

Author contact:

Steffen Jung (Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel)
E-mail: s.jung@weizmann.ac.il

Abstract available online.

(C) Nature Immunology press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

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