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Some Blood Cells Have a Surprising Source: Your Gut

The human intestine may provide up to 10 percent of blood cells in circulation from its own reservoir of blood-forming stem cells

Scientists had previously thought that blood cells are created exclusively in the bone marrow from a special population of hematopoietic stem cells.

The intestine’s reservoir of blood-forming stem cells was discovered when researchers—led by CCTI Director Megan Sykes, MD—noticed that the blood of patients who had received intestinal transplants contained cells from the donor. The researchers tracked the donor’s blood cells back to their source: hematopoietic stem cells in the donated intestine. 

Click here to read the story on the CUIMC web site, or here for the published paper in the Cell Stem Cell November 29 issue.