Stem Cells: Uncovering Critical Regulator of Blood Cell Development
November 21, 2013

A recent study by Dr. Gordon Keller has brought new insight into how blood-forming stem cells are generated by identifying a key factor that regulates their development in the early embryo.
Using various experimental models, Dr. Keller and his team demonstrated that the molecule retinoic acid (RA) enhances the development of blood-forming stem cells. The team also discovered that inactivating the protein responsible for production of RA in a population of specialized stem cell inhibited the development of blood-forming stem cells.
Dr. Keller explains, "Our findings have identified a critical regulator for directing pluripotent stem cells to make blood-forming stem cells. This brings us one step closer to our goal of developing a new and unlimited source of these stem cells for transplantation for the treatment of different blood cell diseases."

This work was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Institutes of Health.G. Keller is a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Embryonic Stem Cell Biology.
Retinoic acid signaling is essential for embryonic hematopoietic stem cell development. Chanda B, Ditadi A, Iscove NN, Keller G Cell. 2013 September 26.

Source: NRx, October 2013
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