Despite the good development of the blood transfusion service, its reserves are not always enough for medical needs, and scientists from around the world are trying to find a solution to this issue. And, according to an article published in the journal Nature, it may be possible to change the situation by the method of scientists from Harvard University. They managed to develop a program for converting "reprogrammed" stem cells into billets for blood cells. This can fundamentally change the entire transfusion system and open up the possibility of creating "endless" blood reserves.
Recently, scientists have found a way to change stem cells in such a way that they can be turned into tissues of bones, skin, muscle and nervous systems. In April 2012, scientists were able to modify the stem cells in such a way that they turned into hair follicles. After this, a successful transplantation of such "hair" to laboratory mice was carried out. In 2016, Japanese scientists collected full copies of various organs, such as the kidney or liver, from stem cells and even raised the foot of a rat, successfully transplanting it to the rodent. And now scientists have learned to "reprogram" stem cells into preforms for all types of blood cells.
Experts observed in the embryos of mice how the bone marrow and blood cells develop in it. This series of experiments helped to isolate 26 hormones and other molecules involved in the process of cell formation, and also to test the action of each of them on stem cells and embryo cells. During the research it was possible to find out that the combination of only seven substances (ERG, HOXA5, HOXA9, HOXA10, LCOR, RUNX1 and SPI1) makes it possible to turn stem cells into future blood cells. Then, after growing the culture of such cells "in vitro", the scientists implanted them into the body of mice devoid of the immune system. As experiments have shown, "billets" have successfully turned into erythrocytes, lymphocytes and other blood components. As stated by one of the authors of the study of Riohisi Sugimura,
"This discovery makes it possible to take cells from patients suffering from genetic blood diseases, change their genes and create high-grade blood cells. Besides, now we can create an inexhaustible source of blood and its stem cells, using cells of people with the first blood group. This will help us save the lives of those who need urgent blood transfusions. "
It is based on the materials of RIA Novosti