Surprising New Role for Lungs: Making Blood

  |   World News / Tech News

Using video microscopy in the living mouse lung, UC San Francisco scientists have revealed that the lungs play a previously unrecognized role in blood production.

In another surprise finding, the scientists also identified a previously unknown pool of blood stem cells capable of restoring blood production when the stem cells of the bone marrow, previously thought to be the principal site of blood production, are depleted.

“This finding definitely suggests a more sophisticated view of the lungs – that they’re not just for respiration but also a key partner in formation of crucial aspects of the blood,” said pulmonologist Mark R. Looney, MD, a professor of medicine and of laboratory medicine at UCSF and the new paper’s senior author.

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