Featured Articles

Surgical Excision of Heterotopic Ossification Leads to Re-Emergence of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Populations Responsible for Recurrence

In this study, a model of recurrent heterotopic ossification (HO) similar to that seen in secondary procedures was validated, demonstrating that similar signaling mechanisms and mesenchymal cell populations responsible for initial HO are present within the recurrent HO lesion. These findings indicate that recurrent HO is not simply an extension of unresected bone but rather represents new heterotopic bone lesions for which prophylactic measures are likely required.

Dynamic Phosphorylation of the Myocyte Enhancer Factor 2Cα1 Splice Variant Promotes Skeletal Muscle Regeneration and Hypertrophy

A deep understanding of the mechanisms that control adult muscle mass is crucial for developing strategies to counteract muscle wasting-associated disorders. Our work demonstrates that MEF2C transcription factor promotes a balanced muscle growth by acting at two cellular levels: by stimulating muscle differentiation of stem cell-derived muscle precursors and by activating the protein synthesis pathway in differentiated myofibers. We show that the timely coordination of these activities is ensured by a molecular mechanism involving the cross-talk of alternative splicing and protein phosphorylation. Our findings supply evidence that modulating MEF2C function might be a valuable therapeutic strategy for muscle wasting therapies.


Journal Club Discussions

October 16, 2016

Researchers studying the heterogeneous nature of cancer stem cell-containing skin tumors may have discovered new therapeutic targets



Article Scans

October 23, 2016
Researchers describe how magnetics can help the retention of adipose stem cells in the heart and improve treatment of myocardial infarction
October 23, 2016
A new nanotechnological approach for the detection of undifferentiated pluripotent stem cells may lead to safer stem cell therapeutics
October 16, 2016
Researchers describe a quick and efficient protocol for the production of red blood cells from human pluripotent stem cells

Video Summary

Video abstract from Drs. Barnawi, Al-Khaldi, Sleiman, Sarkar, Al-Dhfyan, Al-Mohanna, Ghebeh, and Al-Alwan on their recently published STEM CELLS paper entitled, "Fascin is Critical for the Maintenance of Breast Cancer Stem Cell Pool Predominantly via the Activation of the Notch Self-Renewal Pathway" Read the Paper here.

Video abstract from Dr. Allen on his recently published STEM CELLS paper entitled, "Angiopellosis as an Alternative Mechanism of Cell Extravasation" Read the Paper here.

Video abstract from Drs. Serena, Keiran, Ceperuelo-Mallafre, Ejarque, Fradera, Roche, Nuñez-Roa, Vendrell, and Férnandez-Veledo on their recently published STEM CELLS paper entitled, "Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Alters the Immune Properties of Human Adipose Derived Stem Cells" Read the Paper here.

Graphical Abstracts

Confocal picture showing the myelinogenic potential of hiPS-NSCs engrafted at the border between the striatum and the corpus callosum of immunodeficient MLD mice at 3 months post-transplantation(green, human cells labeled with anti-human mitochondria; red, myelin basic protein; blue, nuclei counterstained with ToPro3). Scale bar: 100µm.

An ex vivo culture system used to isolate scalable quantities of hS/PCs with consistent expression of progenitor markers, is reported here. These hS/PCs can be maintained in long-term culture in 2D or in 3D, without loss of stem/progenitor markers.  Incorporation of bioactive basement membrane-derived peptides in the 3D hyaluronate (HA) hydrogel culture system enhances progenitor expansion.  Stimulation of hS/PC spheroids with neurotransmitter agonists leads to differentiation toward an acinar lineage.

Stem cells are emerging as a scientifically plausible treatment and possible cure for cerebral palsy, but are not yet proven. The lack of valid animal models has significantly hampered the scope of clinical trials. Despite the state of current treatment evidence, parents remain optimistic about the potential improvements from stem cell intervention and feel compelled to exhaust all therapeutic options, including stem cell tourism. Receiving unproven therapies from unvalidated sources is potentially dangerous. Thus it is essential that researchers and clinicians stay up to date. A systematic review and meta-analysis summarizing and aggregating current research data may provide more conclusive evidence to inform treatment decision making and help direct future research.