Can a person’s blood type change over time? For many years, it was considered that the blood type of a person is unchanged. But there are some newly discovered factors. Everyone is born with a certain blood type. This blood type can be AB-positive, O-negative, or something in between. You may think that blood type is an immutable trait that has been owned all your life. Although it is true in one respect, a person’s blood type can actually change. Just as hair color changes over the years, many biological characteristics of humans can change. But it may seem surprising to know that this also applies to blood type. Let’s look at how this phenomenon happened.
How can Blood Type change?
A person’s blood type changes in some cases. Among the reasons for this is, above all, the important role played by cells inside the bones. A-B-O and Rh systems are used when talking about blood groups. Each refers to different antigens on the surface of the red blood cell. A Type A antigen, B Type B antigen, AB type both appear in the blood and there is none in O type.
If it is a positive or negative sign added to blood groups, it refers to a protein called Rh factor. The fact that it is positive indicates that it has a Rh factor, and if it is negative, it is not, what blood characteristics we have are genetically determined. It’s vital in many ways that a person knows what blood type he was born with.
One of the proven factors
A potentially fatal reaction can occur when blood is transferred to a person’s body that is not compatible with their blood type during a procedure such as a transplant. Therefore, if there are any factors that can change the blood type in a person, it is important to understand this. A hematopoietic stem cell transplant is one of the proven cases in which it is known that it can change a person’s blood type: these cells are briefly called HSC, and they are located all over the body, mostly bones.
If it is received from a donor, this donation can change a person’s blood type. The main reason for the change in blood type is this: as soon as HSC settles in your bones, it begins to produce special cells from each other, such as red blood cells.
Bone marrow transplant
Therefore, when you receive a hematopoietic stem cell transplant from someone whose genes belong to a different blood group, your blood type also changes. You may think this is probably the first time you’ve heard of the HSC transfer. But it’s actually quite common. Almost everyone necessarily a HSC bone marrow transplantation. Although its name evokes otherwise, this transplant is not about changing the tissue inside a person’s bone.
It’s more about giving someone new hematopoietic stem cells. The goal is to replace those with cancer. At this point, you may ask the question: Can The Body Attack these incompatible blood cells? For this reason, it is important that the donor has the same blood type as the recipient in HSC transplantation. However, we have a situation where there have been exceptions:
Unlike solid organ transplantation, doctors don’t just look at the A-B-O blood type in this case. Rather, they care that two people have the same type of human leukocyte antigen or HLA. Because when the body understands whether certain cells belong to it, it actually handles clues such as a-B antigens.
But in HSC transplants, these antigens are actually more important than the antigen in the blood cell. Because the stem cell that becomes a red blood cell does not yet have a-B antigens, but there is HLA. In case of mismatch, there are some complications in the transplant, but sometimes it is better to experience a change in blood type than not to have a transplant at all.Complex diseases such as cancer sometimes damage the hematopoietic stem cell or try to completely destroy it. In such cases, a person needs a new one over time. These new cells can be produced from another area of the person’s body. But it can also be taken from a donor.
The fact that a person’s blood type can change offers another glimpse into the admirable system of our bodies. Our bodies are made up of systems too complex to be imitated in the real world. Even understanding something as simple as blood type can have life-saving effects.