Blood Stem Cell Regeneration
Being healthy is important; in fact that healthy gut may depend on maintain a complex relationship between immune and stem cells that line our intestines. Intestinal regeneration (after a bacterial infection) is controlled by these complex interactions. This relationship ensures repair but also goes awry in aging fruit flies according to scientists at the Buck Institute. “This work offers important new clues into the potential causes of age-related human maladies, such as irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut and colorectal cancer.”
Macrophage-like hemocytes, which compromise the cellular immune system in flies, goes to the intestines of Dropsophila following damage according to Nature Cell Biology researchers in the Jasper lab. These hemocytes set off the regenerative process through the activation of receptors in stem cells. The process then reverses by turning on other Dpp-related receptors. “The proper timing of these interactions may be kin in maintains a healthy gut.”
Aging makes it harder for these stem sells to switch gears which means flies are suffering from age-related intestinal dysfunctions. This process is similar to those experienced by humans. As we grow older, our ability to fend off infection and repair tissues gets more difficult.
Jasper wants to “promote stem cell repair and regeneration without having those responses become chronically activated.” In order to do this Japer needs to understand macrophages function more clearly, an essential step in the process.
Do you support stem cell research? Why or why not?