Nav: Home

Vitamin B3 analogue boosts production of blood cells

March 07, 2019

Stem cell-based therapies are becoming more and more common, especially in the treatment of blood cancers like lymphoma and leukemia. In these cases, the patient's cancerous blood stem cells are removed and replaced with new, healthy ones. However, up to a quarter of cases end in death because replenishing of blood cells is too slow.

One solution to this is to boost the divisions of so-called hematopoietic ("blood-making") stem cells (HSCs); these are the stem cells that produce the various types of blood cells in our bodies - red, white etc. So, pushing HSCs to divide faster would be ideal; the question is how.

We already know that what causes HSCs to slow down is stress: having to reconstitute the entire blood-cell supply system can be overwhelming. In terms of biology, this stress causes increased activity in mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles of the cell.

To meet the high demands of rebuilding blood cells, the mitochondria of the HSCs increase a process called "oxidative phosphorylation", which generates fuel for the cell. But this has cost: boosting the activity of mitochondria causes HSCs to age prematurely.

Drawing on this, a team of scientists led by Olaia Naveiras at EPFL and Nicola Vannini at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Lausanne Branch have now found that an analogue of vitamin B3, nicotinamide riboside, can increase HSCs and boost their activity. The study, which also involved labs from EPFL's Institute of Bioengineering, and the University hospital of Lausanne (CHUV) has significant implications for stem-cell therapy patients, especially since nicotinamide riboside can be taken as a dietary supplement and still have such effects.

When they studied the effects of nicotinamide riboside in vitro the researchers found that exposing human and mouse HSCs to it improves their function and increases mitochondrial recycling - the process by which stressed-out mitochondria get cleared out to make way for fresh ones.

The researchers found that adding nicotinamide riboside to the diet of mice that had undergone an irradiation procedure that eliminates their blood cells - modeling radiotherapy - improved their survival by 80% and accelerated blood recovery. In immunodeficient mice, nicotinamide riboside increased the production of white blood cells (leucocytes).

What all this translates into is a significant improvement in the ability of HSCs to divide and produce new blood cells. The study shows, for the first time, that nicotinamide riboside as a dietary supplement can have a significant positive effect on preventing blood-recovery problems in cancer patients, even after chemo- or radio-therapy.

"We expect nicotinamide riboside and other mitochondrial modulators to become a complementary approach for increasing stem cell fitness and accelerating blood production, either through dietary supplementation or pharmacological administration," says Naveiras.
-end-
Professor Naveiras' lab is part of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) within the School of Life Sciences at EPFL. ISREC@EPFL is part of the Swiss Cancer Center Léman (SCCL), a multidisciplinary alliance pursuing fundamental, translational, and clinical cancer research. The SCCL founding members are the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG), the universities of Lausanne (UNIL) and Geneva (UNIGE), and EPFL. Professor Naveiras is also a consulting hematologist (Cheffe de Clinique) at the Hematology Service of CHUV.

Other contributors

University of Lausanne (UNIL)
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV)
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
EPFL Laboratory of Stem Cell Bioengineering
EPFL Laboratory of Integrative and Systems Physiology
EPFL Laboratory of System Biology and Genetics
EPFL Flow Cytometry Platform
University Hospital Zürich
Nestlé Research
Democritus University of Thrace

Reference

N. Vannini, V. Campos, M. Girotra, V. Trachsel, S. Rojas-Sutterlin, J. Tratwal, S. Ragusa, E. Stefanidis, D. Ryu, P.Y. Rainer, G. Nikitin, S. Giger, Y.L. Terytty, A. Semilietof, A. Oggier, Y. Yersin, L. Tauzin, E. Pirinen, W. C. Cheng, J. Ratajczak, C. Canto, M. Ehrbar, F. Sizzano, T.V. Petrova, D. Vanhecke, L. Zhang, P. Romero, A. Nahimana, S. Cherix, M. A. Duchosal, P.C. Ho, B. Deplancke, G. Coukos, J. Auwerx, M. P. Lutolf, O. Naveiras. The NAD-booster nicotinamide riboside potently stimulates hematopoiesis through increased mitochondrial clearance. Cell Stem Cell 07 March 2019. DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2019.02.012

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Related Stem Cells Articles:

Computer simulations visualize how DNA is recognized to convert cells into stem cells
Researchers of the Hubrecht Institute (KNAW - The Netherlands) and the Max Planck Institute in Münster (Germany) have revealed how an essential protein helps to activate genomic DNA during the conversion of regular adult human cells into stem cells.
First events in stem cells becoming specialized cells needed for organ development
Cell biologists at the University of Toronto shed light on the very first step stem cells go through to turn into the specialized cells that make up organs.
Surprising research result: All immature cells can develop into stem cells
New sensational study conducted at the University of Copenhagen disproves traditional knowledge of stem cell development.
The development of brain stem cells into new nerve cells and why this can lead to cancer
Stem cells are true Jacks-of-all-trades of our bodies, as they can turn into the many different cell types of all organs.
Healthy blood stem cells have as many DNA mutations as leukemic cells
Researchers from the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology have shown that the number of mutations in healthy and leukemic blood stem cells does not differ.
New method grows brain cells from stem cells quickly and efficiently
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a faster method to generate functional brain cells, called astrocytes, from embryonic stem cells.
NUS researchers confine mature cells to turn them into stem cells
Recent research led by Professor G.V. Shivashankar of the Mechanobiology Institute at the National University of Singapore and the FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology in Italy, has revealed that mature cells can be reprogrammed into re-deployable stem cells without direct genetic modification -- by confining them to a defined geometric space for an extended period of time.
Researchers develop a new method for turning skin cells into pluripotent stem cells
Researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, have for the first time succeeded in converting human skin cells into pluripotent stem cells by activating the cell's own genes.
In mice, stem cells seem to work in fighting obesity! What about stem cells in humans?
This release aims to summarize the available literature in regard to the effect of Mesenchymal Stem Cells transplantation on obesity and related comorbidities from the animal model.
TSRI researchers identify gene responsible for mesenchymal stem cells' stem-ness'
Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute recently published a study in the journal Cell Death and Differentiation identifying factors crucial to mesenchymal stem cell differentiation, providing insight into how these cells should be studied for clinical purposes.
More Stem Cells News and Stem Cells Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.