SSA - Defining the stromal cell subtypes controlling bone homeostasis and haematopoiesis.

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Biology


Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are located in bone marrow and are able to differentiate into bone, cartilage and fat to support the maintenance and repair of the skeleton. There is ample evidence that MSCs are also able to control other aspects of marrow function, but progress has been hampered as MSCs are difficult to distinguish from other stromal cell types because they lack specific identifying markers. We have generated a panel of immortalised, single cell-derived MSC lines to enable in-depth analysis of MSC subtype function with specific, distinguishing characteristics. These MSC lines display widely variable differentiation competencies but we have not explored other MSC functions including how they support haematopoietic cell behaviour and the production of different blood cell types, as well as immunoregulatory behaviour. This project will make use of this unique MSC resource to determine how MSC subtypes contribute to the support of haematopoietic stem cells and their differentiation into specific cell types. We will use screening techniques to identify novel MSC markers combined with in vivo studies to determine niche compositions and location. Collectively, this work will unveil previously unrecognised cell-cell interactions that determine stem cell behaviour across different lineages.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011151/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1792529 Studentship BB/M011151/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2020 Andrew Stone
Description NanoString platform for quantifying miRNA content of Extracellular Vesicles derived from stromal cell subsets 
Organisation Newcastle University
Department Newcastle University Medical School
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Produced extracellular vesicles from stromal subsets for characterisation in Newcastle.
Collaborator Contribution Provided a centre where I could isolate RNA from MSC derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) before quantifying the RNA. Provided codesets for NanoString and access to the technology which allowed me to then quantify individual miRNAs found in MSC EVs.
Impact Joint abstract submitted to European Calcified Tissue Society meeting in May 2019.
Start Year 2018
Description Patient and Public Engagement with Genever Lab at University of York 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Patients, carers and/or patient groups
Results and Impact Held an open interaction day where we presented some of our work on MSCs and their roles in arthritis and how we are trying to improve outlooks for patients with arthritis through both better understanding of the disease and improvements to available treatments. Around 20-30 members of the public attended the event, the majority of whom have some form of arthritis. We had a good dialogue with patients in order to understand what they want from our research in order to improve their lives, this will help to guide our research in the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
Description Presentation of research at the Tissue Engineering Society meeting 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gave a short talk on research from the Genever Lab that had been performed previously which was being continued as part of my PhD project. The Tissue and Cell engineering society meeting was attended by around 200 research scientists in the field of cell and tissue engineering. Dissemination of research and discussion of research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017