Giving Compass’ Take:
• According to new research, a woman’s bone marrow may determine her ability to start and sustain a pregnancy.
• How can bone marrow stem cells help in other ways? What are the major risks and worries with bone marrow transplants?
The study shows that when an egg is fertilized, stem cells leave the bone marrow and travel via the bloodstream to the uterus, where they help transform the uterine lining for implantation. If the lining fails to go through this essential transformation, the embryo cannot implant, and the body terminates the pregnancy.
“We have always known that two kind of things were necessary for pregnancy,” says senior author Hugh Taylor, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at Yale University. “You must have ovaries to make eggs, and you must also have a uterus to receive the embryo. But knowing that bone marrow has a significant role is a paradigm shift.”
Previous research has indicated that, in small numbers, bone marrow-derived stem cells contribute to the non-immune environment of the non-pregnant uterus, but it’s remained unknown if and how stem cells affect a pregnant uterus. In this study, the researchers were able to prove the physiological relevance of stem cells to pregnancy.
“Some of these bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells travel to the uterus and become decidual cells, which are the cells that are essential for the process of implantation and pregnancy maintenance,” explains first author Reshef Tal, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences.
Read the full article about bone marrow stem cells by Kendall Teare at Futurity.
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