Cell biology Evolution Intelligent Design

Lungs’ unexpected new complex function: Making blood

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From BEC CREW at ScienceAlert:

Researchers have discovered that the lungs play a far more complex role in mammalian bodies than we thought, with new evidence revealing that they don’t just facilitate respiration – they also play a key role in blood production.

In experiments involving mice, the team found that they produce more than 10 million platelets (tiny blood cells) per hour, equating to the majority of platelets in the animals’ circulation. This goes against the decades-long assumption that bone marrow produces all of our blood components. More.

W|e are expected to believe that that all just happened by natural selection acting on random mutations and that no source of information is required. Sure.

The article in Nature.

Abstract: Platelets are critical for haemostasis, thrombosis, and inflammatory responses1, 2, but the events that lead to mature platelet production remain incompletely understood3. The bone marrow has been proposed to be a major site of platelet production, although there is indirect evidence that the lungs might also contribute to platelet biogenesis4, 5, 6, 7. Here, by directly imaging the lung microcirculation in mice8, we show that a large number of megakaryocytes circulate through the lungs, where they dynamically release platelets. Megakaryocytes that release platelets in the lungs originate from extrapulmonary sites such as the bone marrow; we observed large megakaryocytes migrating out of the bone marrow space. The contribution of the lungs to platelet biogenesis is substantial, accounting for approximately 50% of total platelet production or 10 million platelets per hour. Furthermore, we identified populations of mature and immature megakaryocytes along with haematopoietic progenitors in the extravascular spaces of the lungs. Under conditions of thrombocytopenia and relative stem cell deficiency in the bone marrow9, these progenitors can migrate out of the lungs, repopulate the bone marrow, completely reconstitute blood platelet counts, and contribute to multiple haematopoietic lineages. These results identify the lungs as a primary site of terminal platelet production and an organ with considerable haematopoietic potential. (paywall)

See also: Vid: Embryologist Jonathan Wells on the four-winged fruit fly The icon of evoluyion perished, became a zombie, and now stalks the textbooks, immortal, along with an eighteen-winged dragonfly, apparently a work of pure imagination.

Note: I’ll post the vid later. I’m on a train that forbids YouTube access. – O’Leary for News

6 Replies to “Lungs’ unexpected new complex function: Making blood

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    polistra says:

    Interesting! I’d always thought that the bone marrow seemed too ‘remote’ from the main circulation to be the main blood-maker. Sounds like the bone marrow makes the TOOLS to make blood, which then disperse to other areas and start manufacturing.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if megakaryocytes also gather and work in places like the spleen and kidneys.

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