Else Kroener-Fresenius-Foundation funds research project of Prof. Dr. Daniela Krause
The main focus of the research group headed by Prof. Dr. Daniela Krause is the extracellular matrix in the bone marrow to improve normal and inhibit malignant blood formation. The funding by the EKF Foundation enables the lab unit of Prof. Dr. Krause to investigate the exact efficiency of the extracellular matrix of the KMM on human hematopoiesis.
Particularly in the industrialized countries, the world population is aging increasingly, which is accompanied by a restriction of blood formation. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), i.e. the cells from which all cells in our blood originate, are located in the so-called bone marrow microenvironment (BMM), which consists of various cellular and non-cellular components. The extracellular matrix, for example, is one of the non-cellular components of the BMM and influences the behavior and well-being of the HSCs. Interestingly, HSCs treated with matrix proteins in animal models improve the transplantation properties of stem cells and thus lead to an improved regeneration of blood formation after transplantation.
In the current study we are testing whether the extracellular matrix of the BMM can also improve human hematopoiesis. This would have a high therapeutic relevance for the improvement of hematopoiesis in old age, in diseases of HSCs, after repeated administration of chemotherapy, which restricts blood formation, and after stem cell transplantation, e.g. for the treatment of leukemia (blood cancer). We have been able to demonstrate the efficacy of this therapy in initial animal models, and our goal is now to advance the therapeutic application of the extracellular matrix of the BMM in preclinical testing and initial clinical trials.