The conference will take place at Lund University, Sweden from June 21-24, 2015.
It will cover three highly related topics:
Production of red blood cells for transfusion medicine
Red blood cells are the most abundant cell type in the body. To supply organs with oxygen 20,000,000,000 new red blood cells (RBCs) are generated every day. Hematopoietic stem cells isolated from human umbilical cord blood cells have long been utilized as the source for in vitro RBC production. However, since hematopoietic stem cells have limited self-renewal capacity, alternative methods are needed for large scale RBC production in vitro. To achieve clinically applicable numbers of quality-controlled RBC in vitro, it is essential to understand the mechanisms underlying RBC differentiation (erythropoiesis), to establish efficient protocols for and to discover new sources of RBC production. In this session, we will discuss the latest achievements from world-leading research groups focusing on different aspects of transfusion medicine.
Blood substitutes mimic only the oxygen transport function of blood and have almost exclusively been prepared from hemoglobin (Hb) isolated from dated human blood or alternatively, have been based on Hb of bovine origin. Risks particularly associated with viral contamination, have led to a focus on recombinant Hb as the best candidate for the oxygen-carrying component of a blood replacement. However, cell-free Hb outside the erythrocyte displays an inherent toxicity relating to its capacity to induce oxidative reactions, causing damage to DNA, proteins and cell membranes. Recent research suggests that Hb can be made less toxic through mutation of critical residues.
Extracellular hemoglobin and protective proteins
Uncontrolled cell-free hemoglobin, resulting from hemolysis or exogenous infusion, exerts toxic effects that are major components in the pathogenesis of many diseases and iatrogenic situations The pathogenesis involves one-electron reactions between oxy-Hb, its downstream metabolites heme, iron, ROS and free radicals and exposed tissue components. Besides, release of extracellular hemoglobin can result in the removal of beneficial free radical species (e.g. nitric oxide) and/or the production of reactive free radicals on the globin protein itself. By the assembly of world-leading interdisciplinary experts this symposium will outline the latest discoveries and conceptions regarding the pathophysiology of extracellular hemoglobin and human endogenous protection mechanisms haptoglobin, hemopexin, heme oxygenase and alpha-1-microglobulin.