Scientists identify pathway in the formation of blood cells

A medical image shows the formation of stem cells.

As scientists study blood disorders and conditions, such as sickle cell disease and leukemia, they examine underlying processes involved in how blood and blood vessels form. In a research article in Science, scientists identified a pathway involved in the early production of blood cells. Formative processes for blood cell production that starts with cells that line the walls of blood vessels were known, but underlying mechanisms needed clarification. The researchers note this information provides the foundation to further study the formation of human blood stem cells in the lab.

“We hope our continued efforts will move us closer to treating both vascular and blood disorders,” study author Karen K. Hirschi, Ph.D., said in a release shared by the University of Virginia Health System. Hirschi published a second paper about this research in Cell Reports. The research was supported by the NHLBI.