Fat cells have long been considered to be mere filler in bone marrow, but linkurl:a study published online today;http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature08099.html in Nature reports that these cells serve an important function -- namely, they put the brakes on blood formation.
Grey's Anatomy illustration
of human bone marrow

Image: Wikipedia
"I think it's fundamentally important," linkurl:Sean Morrison,;http://www.med.umich.edu/cdb/sub_pages/people/morrison.htm director of the University of Michigan's Center for Stem Cell Biology, who was not involved in the research, said of the finding. "Adipocytes have not been among the cells that have been hypothesized to regulate hematopoietic stem cell function." "The classic teaching in medical school," explained main author linkurl:George Daley;http://daley.med.harvard.edu/ of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Children's Hospital Boston, is that adipocytes act as a kind of passive padding in the bone marrow. Instead, researchers have largely focused on bone marrow osteoblasts and, to a lesser extent, endothelial cells, as regulators of hematopoietic stem cell...

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