As a form of regenerative medicine, stem cells are known for their ability to repair and replace damaged tissue. These powerful agents can divide to produce new stem cells, and differentiate into specialized cell types. Recently, even further beneficial properties have been discovered. New research suggests that stem cells’ immune-boosting properties are even more powerful than originally thought.
How Stem Cells Improve Immunity
According to findings discovered by researchers from the Center for Regenerative Therapies TU Dresden and the Center of Immunology of Marseille Luminy, stem cells have the ability to recall previous infections to which the body was exposed. Experts already knew stem cells played an important role in immunity: they assist in blood cell renewal during an immune response used to fight infection. With this latest discovery, it appears that they can also help trigger a quicker and more efficient immune response should infections ever reappear.
These powerful agents are located within the bone marrow, as well as soft tissue within the body. This new finding could be beneficial for vaccination planning, along with treatments for overreactive or underperforming immune responses but future studies are needed.
Findings on Stem Cells’ Role in Immunity
Prior to this body of research, it was believed that hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which are found in the bone marrow, were only able to renew cells, including blood cells, to help fend off infections. Yet, over the years, researchers have found that HSCs are not unspecialized cells. In fact, they have the remarkable ability to sense external factors needed to generate special types of immune cells based on the type of infection encountered.
According to the research team leader, stem cells act as bookmarks, inscribing memories of previous infections on DNA. This memory of the immune system lays the groundwork for vaccine strategies. Thus, further exploring stem cells’ role in protecting the body and contributing to the immune system could lay important groundwork for future disease prevention and control.
This post was written by Becky Palmer, a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.