From New Scientist:
“BLOOD from the young seems to have healing powers, but how can we harness them without relying on donors? The discovery of a protein that keeps blood stem cells youthful might help.”
“When Geiger’s team examined the bone marrow in mice, they found that older animals have much lower levels of a protein called osteopontin. To see if this protein has an effect on blood stem cells, the team injected stem cells into mice that lacked osteopontin and found that the cells rapidly aged.
But when older stem cells were mixed in a dish with osteopontin and a protein that activates it, they began to produce white blood cells just as young stem cells do. This suggests osteopontin makes stem cells behave more youthfully (EMBO Journal, doi.org/b4jp). “If we can translate this into a treatment, we can make old blood young again,” Geiger says.”