A recent study has identified a key protein capable of regulating the process of new blood cells, including immune cells, which can potentially improve bone and stem cell transplants for donors as well as recipients. The researchers at Technical University of Dresden, Germany, led by the University of Pennsylvania, USA, found that a protein known as Del-1 occupies a key role in the process of hematopoiesis. In addition, researchers inferred that the protein regulator may be modulated to act as potential drug targets in patients affected by certain blood cancers types.
The findings were reported this week (August 28 – September 1, 2017) in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Del-1 Expression in Hematopoetic Malignancy Key to Boost Myelopoesis in Bone Marrow Transplants
Initially, some of the researchers discovered that Del-1 was the soluble protein that acted as a powerful drug target in gum diseases. Further investigating the role of the protein in hematopoetic malignancy, they inferred that it played a more global role by establishing its expression in a variety of cell types in bone marrow, most notable of them being endothelial cells, CAR cells, and osteoblasts.
The scientists observed that hematopoietic stem cells plays an increasingly important role in various stressful conditions such as bone marrow injury, stem cell transplantation, or systemic infection. These cells affect the production of myeloid cells that forms the core of bone marrow transplants.
Modulating Protein Regulator may Prove Promising in Some Chemotherapies
The team found that the presence of Del-1 in recipient bone marrow facilitated the process of engrafting in recipients by greatly influencing myelopoesis and consequently boosting the formation of new blood cells. The results were observed in experiments conducted in mice suffering with systemic infection. Whereas, in donors, limiting the interaction between the protein and hematopoetic stem cells could boost donor cell numbers in the blood stream, inferred scientists.
Furthermore, the research team observed that the protein regulator also boosts the production of immune-related blood cells. Thus, this may prove to benefit patients suffering with febrile neutropenia who are undergoing chemotherapy.