Protecting Gut Stem Cells to Prevent GVHD

by Kathy Jones on  February 1, 2011 at 8:31 PM Genetics & Stem Cells News
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A study published online on January 31 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine says that a protein that protects stem cells in the gut relieves a potentially lethal complication of bone marrow transplantation in mice.
 Protecting Gut Stem Cells to Prevent GVHD
Protecting Gut Stem Cells to Prevent GVHD

Bone marrow transplantation can cure diseases such as leukemia but it can also lead to a potentially fatal complication known as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). A group led by Takanori Teshima at Kyushu University in Japan found that mice treated with a protein called R-spondin1 developed less severe GVHD after bone marrow transplantation. R-spondin worked by protecting intestinal stem cells, which help to regenerate damaged tissues and thus dampen inflammation.

Whether R-spondin1 is therapeutic for human bone marrow transplant patients remains to be explored.



Source: Eurekalert

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