Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Inflammatory Language is a series of primers on inflammation science. Care to contribute? The first place winner will receive one copy of The Best Science Writing Online 2012 published by Scientific American/FSG! This contest is a great opportunity for students, but anyone can contribute.
Carefully select 300-500 words (or less) and/or an illustration that conveys inflammation. It can be humorous, political, or encompass pop culture or current events, but must be professional. It also needs to be appropriate for viewing/reading by most people.
The overall goal is to accurately inform readers.
Submissions can be sent to thefebrilemuse[at]gmail[dot]com. Please include your byline and link to your website, if you have one. Thank you in advance, and good luck! I look forward to reading your submissions.
Deadline: February 28, 2013
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
|Monocyte by Asthydays 2012|
Long before a monocyte is “born,” its ancestor or progenitor, a pluripotent stem cell, lives within bone marrow stromal cells and is capable of turning into any other kind of human cell: heart cell, liver cell, or a cell of the blood, to name a few. Some pluripotent stem cells develop into hematopoetic stem cells (HSC) that further develop into the blood cells of the human body—the lymphoid or myeloid cell lines. The myeloid cell line encompasses the platelets, red blood cells, mast cells, basophils, neutrophils, and eosinophils. It also encompasses monocytes, macrophages, and myeloid dendritic cells, leading to the birth of potential reactionaries.
In 1915, the movie The Birth of a Nation was released, triggering inflammatory responses all over the United States. Additionally, it became a recruitment tool for the KKK. The dangerous and faulty parallel between that movie and the monocyte is this: the monocyte can lead to inflammatory reactions, and the monocyte can recruit immune or reactionary cells. The parallel breaks down when there is no need to react, that it would be wrong and disease-causing to do so; so the tolerant monocyte just hangs out. There is no inflammation via its doing.
In the human, the majority of new monocytes are produced in the bone marrow of the vertebrae or sternum. In fetuses less than 4-5 months gestation, they are produced in the spleen and liver. Within a niche, a particular microenvironment of the bone marrow not yet determined, HSCs develop. This niche could be an osteoblastic (cell that builds bone) niche, an endothelial cell (lining of blood vessel) niche, a multipotent primitive mesenchymal cell (like CAR and nestin-expressing) niche in the stromal cells, or a combination of some or all of these.
Although the exact niche for HSC isn’t known, studies have revealed that CXCL12-CXCR4 (ligand-receptor) signaling is necessary for maintenance of HSC and their progenies. And, by influence of certain chemokines like interleukin-1 (IL-1), IL-3, IL-6, granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and stem cell factor (SCF), the myeloid cell line develops.
GM-CSF causes further differentiation (specialization) of the myeloid to a myeloblast, which is further differentiated into basophils, neutrophils, eosinophils, and monocytes. SCF, GM-CSF, IL-3 and IL-6, and specifically M-CSF aid in the development of promonoblasts, monoblasts, promonocytes, then finally—monocytes.
|Macrophage: First Attempt by The Sensitive Scientist 2011|
The monocytes can reside within the marrow, be stored in the spleen, or nonchalantly patrol the blood for microbes—and await activation into macrophages or dendritic cells. If unchanged, the monocytes eventually die an apoptotic death. Their lack of DNA repair genes may have something to do with this for macrophages or dendritic cells are able to repair their DNA, and therefore live longer. I don’t suppose a monocyte considers this either, but it is their life.
Apoptosis of monocyte: Bauer M, Goldstein M, Heylmann D, Kaina B (2012) Human Monocytes Undergo Excessive Apoptosis following Temozolomide Activating the ATM/ATR Pathway While Dendritic Cells and Macrophages Are Resistant. PLoS ONE 7(6): e39956. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039956
Bone marrow niches for HSC: Sugiyama T, NagasawaT ; Inf lamm Allergy Drug Targets. 2012 June; 11(3): 201–206. Published online 2012 June. doi: 10.2174/187152812800392689
Wikipedia: hematopoetic growth factors
There will be three Inflammatory Language posts devoted to monocytes. The first of which, Monocyte Fashion, addressed the style or types of monocytes. This post is the second devoted to monocytes. The third and forthcoming post will address cell trafficking, from the monocyte’s perspective. Future posts will eventually address the rest of Inflammatory Language, the song.