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Protecting Gut Stem Cells to Prevent GVHD

by Kathy Jones on February 1, 2011 at 8:31 PM
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 Protecting Gut Stem Cells to Prevent GVHD

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.

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.

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



Source: Eurekalert
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