Preventing GVHD by protecting gut stem cells
A protein that protects stem cells in the gut relieves a potentially lethal complication of bone marrow transplantation in mice, according to a study published online on January 31 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
Bone marrow transplantation can cure diseases such as leukemia but it can also lead to a potentially fatal complication known as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).
A group led by Takanori Teshima at Kyushu University in Japan found that mice treated with a protein called R-spondin1 developed less severe GVHD after bone marrow transplantation.
Whether R-spondin1 is therapeutic for human bone marrow transplant patients remains to be explored.
More information: Takashima, S., et al. 2011. J. Exp. Med. doi:10.1084/jem.20101559
Provided by Rockefeller University