AABB Foundation Alumni Publish Research on Platelet Storage, HSC Function

March 13, 2024

Two previous recipients of AABB Foundation’s early-career scientific research grants showcased their work in some of the field’s leading journals this month.

Platelet Storage and Dysfunction Reversal

Moritz Stolla, MD, PhD, a 2020 AABB Foundation scholar, served as the senior and corresponding author of a paper in Blood examining the impact of platelet storage conditions on reversing platelet dysfunction.

In the study, Stolla and colleagues from the BloodWorks Northwest Research Institute evaluated the post-transfusion platelet function among 7-day room-stored platelets (RSP) and 14-day cold-stored platelets CSP in plasma (CSP) collected from healthy volunteers on acetylsalicylic acid. The researchers also sought to determine the post-transfusion platelet function and identify predictors for their selection.

Results indicated that RSP better reversed platelet inhibition in certain assays while CSP led to increased thrombin generation. Additionally, the study found that levels of specific lipid species predicted the procoagulant capacity of CSP and the aggregation response of RSP. According to the authors, the study suggests the feasibility of selecting optimal donors for RSP and CSP.

Iron and HSC Function

Angelo D’Alessandro, PhD, a 2023 Hall of Fame inductee, co-authored findings published this week suggesting that aging hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) may regain their function by reducing iron levels within the cells. Britta Will, PhD, at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Einstein Comprehensive Cancer Center led the study, which was published March 7 in Cell Stem Cell.

Building on research from 2018, investigators found that excess iron in mice activates inflammation and dormancy in HSCs, limiting their ability to produce blood cells, while restricting iron enhances their regenerative capacity. In addition, research demonstrated that treatment with an iron chelator significantly increased blood-cell production in older mice.

According to the authors, the findings suggest a potential strategy for maintaining HSC health in aging. Future research may explore how to safely limit iron in HSCs during aging and whether restricting iron levels within HSCs can prevent their aging-associated transformation into cancerous HSCs.

AABB Foundation-Supported Investigators Transform Research

An AABB Foundation grant is a milestone for many investigators beginning their careers in transfusion medicine and biotherapies, often validating their research scope as their career trajectory is just taking shape. This funding inspires innovation in the field for years to come.

Make your donation today to help support early career scholars and the AABB Foundation’s mission of fueling innovative research! Future medical breakthroughs improving patient and donor care depend on it.