Tag Archives: red blood cell

Researchers discover hormone that controls supply of iron in red blood cell production

Findings could lead to treatments for blood disorders associated with both iron deficiencies and overloads

A UCLA research team has discovered a new hormone called erythroferrone, which regulates the iron supply needed for red blood-cell production.

Iron is an essential functional component of hemoglobin, the molecule that transports oxygen throughout the body. Using a mouse model, researchers found that erythroferrone is made by red blood-cell progenitors in the bone marrow in order to match iron supply with the demands of red blood-cell production. Erythroferrone is greatly increased when red blood-cell production is stimulated, such as after bleeding or in response to anemia. (more…)

Read More

Transfusions add Risk in Some Heart Attacks

A new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine finds that while blood transfusions for heart attack patients with anemia are commonly performed in emergency rooms, the practice can increase the risk of death when the transfusions are too extensive. The authors, led by Saurav Chatterjee, a cardiology fellow at Brown University, compared evidence from 10 prior studies of more than 203,000 patients.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — When heart attack patients present in the emergency department with some degree of anemia, or anemic patients have a heart attack, physicians have a tendency, but not much guidance, about whether to provide a blood transfusion. The idea is that a transfusion could help more oxygen get to the heart. Recent national guidelines suggested that there simply isn’t good evidence to encourage or discourage the common practice, but a new meta-analysis of 10 studies involving more than 203,000 such patients comes down on the side of it increasing the risk of death. (more…)

Read More

UCLA Scientists Discover ‘Missing Link’ Between Blood Stem Cells, Immune System

UCLA researchers have discovered a type of cell that is the “missing link” between bone marrow stem cells and all the cells of the human immune system, a finding that will lead to a greater understanding of how a healthy immune system is produced and how disease can lead to poor immune function.

The research was done using human bone marrow, which contains all the stem cells that produce blood during post-natal life. (more…)

Read More

Pigeons’ Homing Skill Not Down to Iron-Rich Beak Cells

The theory that pigeons’ famous skill at navigation is down to iron-rich nerve cells in their beaks has been disproved by a new study published in Nature.

The study shows that iron-rich cells in the pigeon beak are in fact specialised white blood cells, called macrophages. This finding, which shatters the established dogma, puts the field back on course as the search for magnetic cells continues. (more…)

Read More

UCLA Scientists ID Cell, Signaling Pathway That Regulate Blood Stem Cells in Placenta

UCLA stem-cell researchers have identified a certain type of cell and a signaling pathway in the placental niche that play a key role in stopping blood stem cells from differentiating into mature blood cells in the placenta. Preventing this premature differentiation is critical to ensuring a proper blood supply for an individual’s lifetime.

The placental niche is considered a stem cell “safe zone,” which supports the creation and expansion of blood stem cells without promoting their differentiation into mature cells. This allows for the establishment of a pool of precursor cells that will later provide blood cells for fetal and post-natal life, said the study’s senior author, Dr. Hanna Mikkola, an associate professor of molecular cell and developmental biology at UCLA and a researcher at UCLA’s Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research. (more…)

Read More

Bloodless Worms Yield Insight on Human Blood, Parasites & Iron Deficiency

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Using a tiny bloodless worm, University of Maryland Associate Professor Iqbal Hamza and his team have discovered a large piece in the puzzle of how humans, and other organisms, safely move iron around in the body. The findings, published in the journal Cell, could lead to new methods for treating age-old scourges – parasitic worm infections, which affect more than a quarter of the world’s population, and iron deficiency, the world’s number one nutritional disorder. (more…)

Read More