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Archive - Jan 17, 2018

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Hepatic Leukemia Factor (HLF) Protects Blood Stem Cells by Maintaining Them in Resting State

"The study confirms several previous studies that show the HLF gene's significance in blood formation,” says Mattias Magnusson, PhD, of Lund University, who led a new study, the results of which were published in the December 19, 2017 issue of Cell Reports. The open-access article is titled “Hepatic Leukemia Factor Maintains Quiescence of Hematopoietic Stem Cells and Protects the Stem Cell Pool During Regeneration.” The results can have important applications in bone marrow transplants, as well as contribute to our knowledge of how leukemia develops. Maintaining blood production, especially in the case of injury, chemotherapy, or a transplantation, is dependent on a limited number of stem cells in the bone marrow. These blood stem cells have the unique capacity to make an identical copy of themselves and to mature into all the different types of blood cells. To ensure lifelong maintenance of normal blood stem cell function, most blood stem cells are held in a resting state. This protects them from exhaustion and external Impact. However, the blood stem cells can be rapidly deployed to reconstruct the blood system in the case of trauma, after which they revert to their resting state. "Identifying the factors that control blood stem cells provides knowledge needed to be able to propagate the stem cells outside the body. This has long been one of the major goals in the blood stem cell field, as it would increase possibilities for blood stem cell transplantation when, for example, there is a shortage of stem cells or donors. In addition, we will increase our understanding of how leukemia arises,” explains Dr. Magnusson. Several research teams have previously identified the HLF gene as a possible stem cell regulator for both normal and carcinogenic blood formation.