How flu infected mice could mean end of blood transfusions

Researchers found that mice who were injected with the flu virus began producing large amounts of red blood cellsResearchers at University of Virginia School of Medicine find that mice injected with flu virus began producing large amounts of red blood cells, in development that could remove need for blood transfusions

Scientists have discovered an antibody that forces the body to keep producing unlimited blood, in a development that could remove the need for blood transfusions.
Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine found that mice who were injected with the flu virus began producing large amounts of red blood cells.
They now say this could represent a significant step forward in the battle against anaemia and help people suffering from diabetes, kidney disease or cancer.
Scientists say that with further development the discovery could lead to doctors being able to turn on red blood cell production in humans whenever necessary.
This could see the technique used to treat people who cannot receive a blood transfusion because of their religious beliefs, such as Jehovah's Witnesses.
It could also be deployed on the battlefield, to triage wounded soldiers until they can receive a blood transfusion.
The discovery came about an as unintended side-effect ofa routine laboratory experiment by researchers examining the role of dendritic cells in the lungs. These cells act as messengers between the body’s immune system.
They found that after injecting mice with the flu virus, along with an antibody that blocked a certain molecule expressed by the dendritic cells, the mice's spleens enlarged enormously.
The researchers repeated the experiment, only to get the same results. The mice had been ‘humanized’, or biologically engineered to have a human blood system, allowing lab researchers to replicate the effects a similar technique may have on humans.
The team, led by Thomas J. Braciale concluded that they were inducing ‘stress erythropoiesis’, in which the body produces red blood cells because of injury or other trauma.
n discovering an unexpected molecular trigger for the process, Braciale and his team realised they had found a switch which could be used to prompt the production of red blood cells.
He said: “In the very basic way, what we've discovered is that the process of regulating stress in the body is mediated - certainly in part, at least - by these dendritic cells.
“And stress can be a variety of different stresses. It doesn't have to be infection; it doesn't have to be inflammation. It can be anaemia. It can be haemorrhage. And these cells act to initiate this response that, until this report, there's been really no evidence that these [dendritic] cells ever participate in making red blood cells."
The Virginia researchers had not been investigating anaemia when their made their discovery.
Instead Braciale and his team members were looking at the role of dendritic cells in the lungs, which have been traditionally thought to be sensors of infection and inflammation.
More research is needed before the new technique for generating the production of red blood cells can be tested on people.
But Braciale said he is optimistic about the possibilities, based on the findings so far.
He said: "We're very excited to see where this goes. We know that the same things can be done in humans in the following sense. There are mice called humanized mice. These are mice that are engineered so they have a human blood system. And if you inject these mice with this antibody, they'll make red blood cells."
People with anaemia - the most common blood disorder - lack sufficient red blood cells, which transport oxygen. As a result they often experience fatigue and lack energy because their cells aren't getting enough oxygen.
There are several causes for the condition, which is particularly prevalent in older adults, including iron deficiency, vitamin deficiencies and diseases such as kidney disease and cancer.

1 comment:

  1. Molto interessante in attesa del nuovo mondo sarebbe un grande aiuto


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