Bone Marrow & The Functions
April 26, 2022
Bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue inside somebody’s bones, including the hip and thigh bones. Bone marrow contains immature cells called stem cells. These cells can develop into any type of cell in the body.
Many people with blood cancers rely on bone marrow or cord transplants to survive. If an illness or disease affects bone marrow, it can no longer produce blood cells; a marrow transplant could be the best treatment option.
What is Bone Marrow?
Bone marrow is soft, jelly-like tissue that fills the medullary cavities or the centres of bones. The two types of bone marrow are red bone marrow, known as myeloid tissue, and yellow bone marrow, known as fatty tissue.
Red Bone Marrow
Red bone marrow produces all red blood cells, platelets, and around 60% of lymphocytes in human adults. Other lymphocytes begin their lives in the red bone marrow and develop into fully formed cells in the lymphatic tissues, including the thymus, spleen, and lymph nodes. In addition, red bone marrow is essential in removing old red blood cells from the liver and spleen.
The three types of blood cells produced from the stem cells in the red bone marrow are red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. These cells help transport oxygen throughout the body, fight infections, and prevent excessive bleeding.
Yellow Bone Marrow
The yellow bone marrow stores a lot of fat. The bones need food to stay healthy and function correctly. Under specific conditions, your bone marrow may change from yellow to red. The yellow bone marrow is typically found in the central cavities of long bones. A layer of red bone marrow surrounds it with long trabeculae (beam-like structures) within a sponge-like reticular framework.
The Function of Bone Marrow
Bone marrow is responsible for producing red blood cells and white blood cells. The purpose of bone marrow is to create different cells for keeping a person alive. Several factors can affect the health of bone marrow and impair its ability to produce an average amount of healthy cells. A bone marrow transplant may be necessary when a person has a low number of white blood cells or a cancerous tumour. A bone marrow transplant can help replace a person’s blood cells, which can help fight off infections and other health problems.
A bone marrow transplant can help with the following:
- Replacement of broken bone marrow damaged by certain health conditions.
- Restoring bone marrow function after being damaged by high-dose chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
- Preventing more damage caused by specific genetic diseases.
- Regenerating the immune system to fight existing or remaining cancers such as leukaemia.
How is a Bone Marrow Transplant Performed?
Blood and bone marrow transplant procedures often treat many diseases and disorders, such as leukaemia and lymphoma.
Before the transplant, chemotherapy, radiation, or both may be given as part of the treatment plan. Cancer treatment that includes high doses of chemotherapy, radiation, or both is used to kill any cancer cells. Unfortunately, this also eradicates any healthy bone marrow that remains and allows new stem cells to grow in the bone marrow. Reduced-intensity treatment, also called a mini transplant, is a type of treatment that uses lower doses of chemotherapy and radiation before a transplant. This policy allows older people and those with other health problems to receive transplants.
There are three kinds of bone marrow transplants:
Autologous bone marrow transplant: A self-transplant transplant is a bone marrow transplant from the donor’s body. Stem cells are removed from you before receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment. They are located in a freezer. After high-dose chemotherapy or radiation treatments, your stem cells are put back into your body to make new blood cells. This is a transplant procedure used to save a patient’s life.
Allogeneic bone marrow transplant (ABMT) is a procedure in which healthy stem cells (blood-forming cells) are given to a patient to replace their stem cells, which have been destroyed due to radiation treatment or aggressive chemotherapy. Most times, the donor’s genes must be at least partly similar to your genes for the transplant to be successful. Special tests are done to see if a potential donor is a good match for you. You are most likely to find a good game if you are related to someone. Sometimes parents, children and other relatives are good pairings. Donors who are not related to you, but have the same blood type, may be found through national bone marrow registries (India).
An umbilical cord blood transplant is an allogeneic transplant in which blood from a donor is used to treat a patient. Stem cells are taken from a newborn baby’s umbilical cord shortly after birth. The stem cells are frozen and stored until needed for a transplant. Umbilical cord blood cells are immature, so it is unnecessary to have a perfect match when donating. In addition, the smaller number of stem cells in the blood takes much longer for the blood counts to recover.
Why is the Procedure Performed?
A bone marrow transplant replaces bone marrow that is either not working correctly or has been destroyed by cancer treatment. Doctors believe that, for many cancers, the donor’s white blood cells may attack any remaining cancer cells, just as they would when fighting an infection.
Frequently Asked Question
1. What are Bone Marrow and its Function?
The soft, fatty tissue found inside your bones is called bone marrow. The cells that make blood and platelets are found in bone marrow, producing billions of new blood cells daily.
2. Can a Person Live Without Bone Marrow?
Without bone marrow, our bodies would not be able to produce the white cells we need to fight infection, the red blood cells we need to carry oxygen, and the platelets we need to stop bleeding. In addition, some illnesses and treatments can damage the bone marrow.
4. Is animal Bone Marrow Good for You?
Bone marrow is full of collagen, which helps to improve the health and strength of bones and skin. This oil is also rich in glucosamine, a compound that can help relieve joint pain, reduce inflammation, and reduce the risk of osteoarthritis.