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Haematopoietic stem cell niche

Haematopoietic Stem Cell Niche
Haematopoietic Stem Cell Niche
Chief Investigator
Haematopoietic Stem Cell Niche
Dr Simón Méndez-Ferrer
Haematopoietic Stem Cell Niche
University of Cambridge
Haematopoietic Stem Cell Niche
NHSBT Research and Development Committee
Research Theme
Haematopoietic Stem Cell Niche
Stem Cells and Immunotherapies
Lay Summary
Haematopoietic Stem Cell Niche

Blood cells are produced in the bone marrow, which contains two distinct adult stem cell types: blood stem cells which generate all blood and immune cells, and mesenchymal stem cells which form the scaffold on which blood stems cells differentiate.

Dr Méndez-Ferrer’s recent research has shown that the number of blood stem cell numbers is not constant in the blood stream but varies according to specific and regular rhythmic oscillations. This rhythmic traffic of blood stem cells in and out of the bone marrow is controlled by signals from the brain through nerves.

This work aims to understand how the different types of nerves, blood vessels and mesenchymal stem cells associated with them control the growth and migration of blood stem cells.

If successful, this will lead to improved methods for obtaining more blood stem cells and/or improve blood stem cell transplantation procedures.