Yes, lungs are one of the most vital organs of a human body because they carry out the process of respiration in us. But how much vitality will they gain if I tell you that the functions of a lung are not only limited to respiration, but they are also into making blood cells. You heard it right! Researchers have found out new evidence revealing that lungs in mammalian body are efficient enough that they can help in the production of blood.
Let's have a detailed look at the research and find out how is it possible?
The experiment was conducted on a mice where it was observed:
The experiment indicated that the lungs of mice produce more than 10 million platelets per hour which are equal to the majority of platelets in the animals' circulation.
The experiment was carried out by the researchers of the University of California
The team of the researchers told that, "This finding definitely suggests a more sophisticated view of the lungs - that they're not just for respiration, but also a key partner in the formation of crucial aspects of the blood. What we've observed here in mice strongly suggests the lung may play a key role in blood formation in humans as well."
The tissues of the lung were observed to have blood stem cells.
Also, it was discovered that tissues of the lung have the unknown pool of blood stem cell that makes the lungs produce blood cells. Whereas, earlier these stem cells were supposed to be residing at the bone marrow.
So what about the bone marrow?
Although this research has guided us to a turn suggesting that lungs do produce blood cells, this doesn't mean that bone marrow has no hand in making them. It is still assumed that most of the cells responsible for blood production are kept inside the bone marrow.
But how was this not observed for so long?
This discovery was made possible because of the new technology based on two-photon intravital imaging.
The same technique was used by another team to find out the unidentified functions of the brain's cerebellum.