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News

New research clarifies a major uncertainty about bone marrow donor cells

American Association For The Advancement Of Science (AAAS) : 02 July, 2004  (Company News)
Bone marrow cells have shown a surprising ability to grow in heart, liver, nerve and other cells. These findings have stirred controversy, however, over whether bone marrow cells actually change their genetic program and become these new types of cells. Some researchers have found evidence suggesting that bone marrow cells simply fuse with cells in other organs without actually taking on a new identity.
Bone marrow cells have shown a surprising ability to grow in heart, liver, nerve and other cells. These findings have stirred controversy, however, over whether bone marrow cells actually change their genetic program and become these new types of cells. Some researchers have found evidence suggesting that bone marrow cells simply fuse with cells in other organs without actually taking on a new identity.

Now Robert G. Harris and colleagues report that bone marrow cells from mice integrate into mouse tissue without fusing. They identified unfused cells from donor bone marrow in lung, skin and liver tissue of the recipient mice.

The authors note, however, that the lack of fusion does not necessarily mean that the donor cells took on the identity of the recipient cells.
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