Epithelial cancers are believed to originate from transformation of tissue stem cells.
However, bone marrow–derived cells, which are frequently recruited to sites of tissue injury and inflammation, might also represent a potential source of malignancy.
Dr Houghton and colleagues from the United States undertook research that shows that acute injury, acute inflammation, or transient parietal cell loss within the stomach do not lead to bone marrow-derived cell recruitment.
|Helicobacter induces repopulation of the stomach with bone marrow-derived cells|
However, the researchers were able to show that chronic infection of C57BL/6 mice with Helicobacter, a known carcinogen, induces repopulation of the stomach with bone marrow-derived cells.
The research team found that subsequently, these cells progress through metaplasia and dysplasia to intraepithelial cancer.
Dr Houghton concluded, "These findings suggest that epithelial cancers can originate from marrow-derived sources and thus have broad implications for the multistep model of cancer progression."