May 10, 2010
High Cholesterol Levels Affect Mobilization Of Cells From The Bone Marrow
New study may have implications for transplants and understanding cancer onset
Increased cholesterol levels are being increasingly recognized as risk factors for the onset and progression of several cancers. Now researchers in Portugal show that high levels of cholesterol can affect the microenvironment of the bone marrow, so that more cells move from the bone marrow to peripheral, circulating blood. These findings, by Sergio Dias and his team, an external group of the Instituto Gulbenkian de CiÃªncia, have implications for transplantation and further understanding bone marrow malignancies, are to appear in the next issue of the journal Blood.
These finding may have implications for transplants and bone marrow malignances. As S©rgio Dias points out "It is the first time, as far as we are aware, that cholesterol is directly linked to mobilization of cells in the bone marrow. In a transplant setting, we believe patients with high cholesterol may be less 'receptive', since more blood cells exit to the peripheral vessels. Therefore drugs that modulate cholesterol levels may have beneficial effects also in a transplant setting."
"Furthermore, as cholesterol empties cells from the bone marrow microenvironment, we envisage that it may create more space for malignant leukemia cells to come into the bone marrow, thus favoring acute leukemia expansion and spread to secondary organs", this group leader adds.
This study was carried out with support from the Portuguese national funding agency, FundaÃ§Ã£o para a CiÃªncia e a Tecnologia (FCT) and GlaxoSmithKline.
On the Net: