Weekly reads: stem cell activator, sleep & stem cells, clonal hematopoiesis

When people find out that I’m a stem cell researcher, a common question is whether there’s something they can take that is a stem cell activator.

I’ve written before about whether there are stem cell boosts that one can do to try to be healthier.

stem cells macrophages, stem cell activator
Macrophages in the CHT regulate stem cell clonality. (A) A schematic overview of the Zebrabow-M system: Animals with 15 to 20 insertions of a multicolor fluorescent cassette are crossed to the draculin:CreERT2 line to enable clonal labeling of lateral plate mesoderm lineages. By treating with 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT) at 24 hpf just after HSC specification, individual stem cell lineages express specific fluorescent hues that can be quantified in the adult marrow.” Wattrus, et al. Science, 2022. Fig. 2a.

Sleep, stem cell activator and clonality

Mostly when I bring this up people think of supplements, cell treatments, drugs, or other things like that.

However, research to date suggests the most likely way to try to maintain a healthy stem cell state is through simpler things.

Exercise. Get enough sleep. Eat right.

Even for these things there aren’t super concrete data, but there are hints, especially for exercise. A new study supports the idea that sleep is indeed important too.

Sleep exerts lasting effects on hematopoietic stem cell function and diversity, JEM. One of the more interesting aspects of this paper is that sleep seems to preserve clonal diversity in blood stem cells. This was done in mice with some additional data from people.

I found another article this week on hematopoietic clonal expansion. Quality assurance of hematopoietic stem cells by macrophages determines stem cell clonality, Science. They found that macrophages can be stem cell activators leading to division or weeding out undesired stem cells by eating them.

Maybe sleep also impacts macrophage function including action on HSCs? Note that this study was done in zebrafish using some cool methods. See part of a figure above.

More recommended reads

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