A group of biologists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that an increase in stem cells leads to a deterioration in the division process. Scientists believe that keeping cells in their original size can help people with cancer and leukemia. The details of the study were published in the journal Science Advances.
In the course of scientific work, biologists have established that an increase in the volume of hematopoietic stem cells is one of the factors of aging. The cleavage process causes disruption of the DNA structure. To eliminate them, cells stop dividing and start growing. With age, their size becomes larger, which worsens the ability to duplicate.
To find out how cell size affects the division process, scientists conducted an experiment on mice. To do this, they modified the DNA in two ways. As a result, some cells have grown, while others have lost the ability to grow. Subsequently, the researchers compared how efficiently the modified cells produce blood cells.
To slow down growth, biologists injected the mice with rapamycin. It is already being used in medicine for cancer therapy. Also, with its help, doctors are struggling with the rejection of transplanted organs. According to scientists, the drug can also cure people with diseases of the circulatory system, such as anemia or leukemia.
As shown by the results of the experiment, mice, whose DNA was treated with rapamycin, retained their original cell size. Due to this, the duplication process actively continued even in three-year-old rodents, which is a relatively high age for a mouse.
In the future, scientists plan to prove how the growth of intestinal stem cells affects the digestive system. According to biologists, the larger the size, the fewer organelles that adapt to the intestinal lining.