It has been known that Lungs are involved in facilitating respiration but a recent study on mice has discovered that they play a far more complex role in bodies of mammals. This role involves production of 10 million platelets or tiny blood cells every hour, which is equal to the platelets majority in animal circulation.


The researchers in California University also found out that the blood stem cells in the lung tissue responsible for the same were wrongly presumed to be located inside the bone marrow. This only proves the significance of the lungs and that their role isn’t restricted only to respiration and play an important role in blood formation.

Earlier, it was assumed that the majority of the cells responsible for blood production belong inside the bone marrow but contradicting the earlier research findings, the news ones show that most of the platelet forming cells known as the mega karyoctes function from inside the lung tissue and more importantly are responsible of production of majority of the body’s platelets.

Now, earlier the researchers did not have the technology but with the advent of two photon intra-vital imaging that involves the process of insertion of a substance known as green fluorescent protein (GFP) in the genome of the mouse. After the insertion, the platelets strated emitting bright green fluorescence while moving around the body in real time. This helped the team determine their movement path, which wasn’t possible earlier. This is when it was revealed that most of the platelets population resided inside the lung tissue and produced megakaryocytes. Also, the production was found to be around 10 million platelets per hour in mice lungs. This automatically proves that almost half of the platelet production was carried out inside the lungs.

Though, the fascinating part about the discovery is that the mega karyoctes originate in the bone marrow, then travel to the lungs and then start producing platelets. Though, a human replication is yet to be done, none the less it makes a strong case for the functioning of the lungs.

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