Lungs can also make blood for mammals — study
For the longest time, it was believed by medical science that blood was produced from the bone marrow. However, a recent study suggests that the lungs also produce much of the body’s blood.
Researchers made the discovery through the use of a technology called two-photon intravital imaging. Experiments done on mice suggested that over half of the platelets produced in its body came from the lungs, reports Science Alert.
Further study also revealed a vast number of hidden blood stem cells as well as cells that create red blood cells sitting just outside the lung tissue. By their estimates, the lung was producing at least half of the body’s blood supply.
As to how these cells got to the lungs, the study suggests that the blood- and platelets-producing cells started out in the bone marrow and migrated to the lungs. Once at their new location, they started producing blood like the marrow does.
The researchers say that their findings need to be replicated in humans first before they are sure that the same process occurs in humans.
They would also like to understand how the marrow and the lungs work together as the body’s blood factories. In any case, this discovery could mean a great deal when it comes to treating blood-related illnesses. Alfred Bayle/JB