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Highlights of current exciting developments, ranging from research papers to court decisions to industry regulations

June 11, 2018

The Stem Cells Portal brings you a roundup of some of the new and exciting stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells, regenerative medicine, and beyond!

Past Buzz

June 4,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - LSC Pigmentation and Stemness, ASC-treatment of Rotator cuff Disease, Genome-editing of Aniridia‐related Keratopathy, and Current Understanding and Prostate CSCs!

The Stem Cells Portal brings you a roundup of some of the new and exciting stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells, regenerative medicine, and beyond!

Pigmentation and Stemness in Limbal Stem Cell Cultures

To aid in the identification of early human limbal epithelial stem cells (hLESCs), researchers from the lab of Vladimir Zachar (Aalborg University, Denmark) recently sought to assess the utility of tumor protein p63 (p63) and ATP binding cassette subfamily B member 5 (ABCB5) as markers. In a new STEM CELLS study, Liu et al. now report that p63, but not ABCB5, predicts the immaturity of hLESCs and reveal a link between stemness with pigmentation. The authors hope that these finding will aid help to enhance the ex vivo culture of hLESCs employed to treat human limbal stem cell deficiency.

Adipose-derived Stem Cell Injections for Rotator cuff Disease

A recent study led by Chris H. Jo (Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea) aimed to discover the potential utility of intratendinous injection of autologous adipose-tissue-derived MSCs (ASCs) in patients with rotator cuff disease, a leading cause of shoulder pain. Jo et al. have now established the feasibility, safety, and effectiveness of this approach and report some evidence of tendon defect regeneration in the absence of surgical interventions. Overall, the authors of this new STEM CELLS study hope to create a paradigm shift from surgery to stem cells in patients suffering from this condition.

Genome-editing of Aniridia‐related Keratopathy and Rescue

Heterozygous PAX6 gene mutations cause the rare and progressive panocular disease congenital aniridia and the vast majority of patients also suffer from aniridia‐related keratopathy (ARK). As a means to search for effective treat ARK, researchers from the lab of Daniel Aberdam (INSERM U976, Hôpital Saint‐Louis, Paris, France) employed CRISPR/Cas9 to introduce the PAX6 mutation in patient-derived limbal stem cells (LSCs) to create a testable model. In their new STEM CELLS study, Roux et al. describe the construction of this model and identify a soluble recombinant PAX6 protein as a possible treatment.

Current Understanding on Prostate CSCs

A new review article from STEM CELLS from the lab of Anna Dubrovska aims to bring us up to date with what we currently understand regarding cancer stem cells (CSCs) in prostate cancer. Specifically, Skvortsov et al. discuss current methods for prostate CSC enrichment and analysis, the hallmarks of prostate CSC metabolism, and the role of prostate CSCs in tumor progression.

That’s a wrap for now! Please feel free to leave a comment and discuss the papers covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz. Happy reading!

May 27,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Umbilical Cord Blood Banking, MSC-based Wound Healing, Strap-mediated ESC Differentiation, and EPC‐derived Mitochondria in Brain Protection!

The Stem Cells Portal brings you a roundup of some of the new and exciting stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells, regenerative medicine, and beyond!

Evolving Landscape of Umbilical Cord Blood Banking

Umbilical cord blood (UCB) banking provides an off‐the‐shelf solution for patients in urgent need of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). However, the release of UCB units for therapeutic purposes has plateaued and started to decrease year‐on‐year from 2013 to 2016. Researchers from the lab of Michael S. Pepper (University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa) sought to uncover the reasons behind this trend in a new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article. They report that the emergence of haploidentical HSCT, the increasing use of UCB units for regenerative medicine purposes, the high cost associated with UCB transplantation, the economic impact of sustaining public bank operations, and an active private UCB banking sector all play influencing roles.

MSC for Lasting Wound Healing of Irradiated Skin

A new study from the lab of Christine Linard (Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire, Fontenay‐aux‐Roses, France) sought to investigate the potential application of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) as a means to improve plastic surgery for skin necrosis, in a large‐animal model of cutaneous radiation syndrome. The team discovered that vascularized flap surgery successfully and lastingly remodeled irradiated skin only when combined with BM‐MSC therapy. For all the details, see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now!

Strap in Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation

Researchers from the lab of Pran K. Datta (University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA) recently set out to investigate the functional role of the WD‐domain protein Strap (serine-threonine kinase receptor‐associated protein) in the pluripotency and lineage commitment of murine embryonic stem cells (mESCs). Jin et al. report that Strap knockout mESCs exhibit defects for lineage differentiation due to attenuated intracellular retinoic acid signaling and the induced expression of Cyp26A1. For the entire story, head over to STEM CELLS now!

EPC‐derived Mitochondria Protect Brain Endothelium

Recent studies have suggested that endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) release and transfer mitochondria when employed as a treatment for stroke and central nervous system injury. Now, research led by Kazuhide Hayakawa, Eng H. Lo, and Anna Rosell have established that EPCs support brain endothelial energetics, barrier integrity, and angiogenic function partly through extracellular mitochondrial transfer. For more on this exciting new advance, make your way over to STEM CELLS now!

That’s a wrap for now! Please feel free to leave a comment and discuss the papers covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz. Happy reading!

May 24,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - ACE2 Deficiency Exacerbates Diabetic Defects, Role of Coiled‐coil Mbd3 Domain, OCT4 in Human Cancer, and 3D Organoids as Pre‐Clinical Models

The Stem Cells Portal brings you a roundup of some of the new and exciting stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells, regenerative medicine, and beyond!

ACE2 Deficiency Exacerbates Diabetic Retinopathy via Bone Marrow Dysfunction

A recent STEM CELLS study from the laboratory of Maria B Grant (University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, USA) sought to test if the primary enzyme of the vasoprotective axis of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) exacerbates diabetic retinopathy by promoting bone marrow stem cell dysfunction. Through experiments employing Angiotensin‐converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) knockout mice, Duan et al. now suggest that sustained activation of RAS in bone marrow stem cells will prevent the development of diabetic retinopathy. Sounds like a fascinating study!

Crucial Role of Coiled‐coil Domain of Mbd3 in Pluripotency

While studies have revealed that methyl‐CpG‐binding domain protein 3 (Mbd3), a scaffolding component of the nucleosome remodeling deacetylase complex, regulates pluripotency, the functional similarities and dissimilarities among the three isoforms (a, b, and c) remain unexplored. Now, new research from the lab of Akihiko Okuda (Saitama Medical University, Japan) suggests that the coiled‐coil domain common to all three Mbd3 isoforms helps to maintain pluripotency via the recruitment of polycomb repressive complex 2 to a subset of genes linked to development and organogenesis, thus establishing stable transcriptional repression. Head over to STEM CELLS now for all the details.

New Study Forges Strong Links between OCT4 and Human Cancer

In an attempt to end the debate regarding OCT4 expression in human cancer, researchers from the laboratory of Mitsuko Kosaka (Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan) developed a highly specific and comprehensive detection method. Writing in STEM CELLS, Miyamoto et al. report clear evidence for cancer cell-specific expression of OCT4A, OCT4B, OCT4B1 and other novel splicing variant transcripts. Interestingly, expression correlates with correlated with the migration and invasion, strongly suggesting a significant contribution of OCT4 to the phenotype of human cancer cells.

Current Status of 3D Organoids as Pre‐Clinical Models

A new STEM CELLS article from the labs of Moorthy P. Ponnusamy and Surinder K. Batra (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA) aims to review the current status of three-dimensional (3D) organoid cultures in the study of tissue homeostasis and cancer. Kaushik et al. focus on recent technical advances, stem cell biology principles utilized to generate multiple organoids with the aim of expanding organoid applications to the study disease progression and drug response in different cancers, while also discussing shortcomings, limitations, and advantages of developed 3D cultures.

That’s a wrap for now! Please feel free to leave a comment and discuss the papers covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz. Happy reading!

May 21,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - UCB for Ischemic Stroke, Wound Healing with UCB, Scar Reduction by OSKM, and Using Fat to Fight Disease!

The Stem Cells Portal brings you a roundup of some of the new and exciting stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells, regenerative medicine, and beyond!

Allogeneic Cord Blood in Ischemic Stroke

Given the ever-rising prevalence of ischemic stroke and the lack of viable treatment options, many studies have begun to investigate cell-based therapies to improve functional outcomes in patients. A recent STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article from the lab of Ellen R. Bennett (Duke University, Durham, NC, USA) reports on their phase 1 open‐label trial to assess the safety and feasibility of a single IV infusion of non‐human leukocyte antigen-matched, ABO-matched, unrelated allogeneic umbilical cord blood (UCB) into adult stroke patients. Laskowitz et al. report the safety of this approach and note improvements in neurological and functional evaluations in every patient, thereby supporting the conduct of a randomized, placebo‐controlled phase 2 study.

Treatment of Wounds with Umbilical Cord Blood

With a rise in the number of patients suffering from type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) comes an increase in the incidence of related chronic wounds and amputations. However, a new study from the lab of Ian M. Rogers (Lunenfeld‐Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System, Canada) now demonstrates that in vitro cultured umbilical cord blood (UCB) CD34+ stem cells from frozen units accelerate wound healing and result in the regeneration of full-thickness skin in a mouse diabetes model. Whiteley et al. note that this data supports the retention of therapeutic properties in UCB cells following the freezing of umbilical cord units. Discover more over at STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now.

Scar Reduction by Reprogramming Factors

Recent studies have suggested that partial reprogramming via the transient expression of the OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and C‐MYC (OSKM) transcription factors may represent an exciting means to regenerate damaged tissues in vivo. Now, new research from the lab of Hans R. Schöler (Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Münster, Germany) establishes that OSKM induction in cutaneous wounds of transgenic mice causes diminished fibroblast transdifferentiation to myofibroblasts and wound contraction, the downregulation of profibrotic marker genes, and reduced scar tissue formation. For a deeper dive into the data, see STEM CELLS now.

Employing Fat to Fight Disease

Researchers from the lab of Bruce A. Bunnell (Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, USA) bring us a review of the safety and efficacy of adipose stem cells (ASCs) and the stromal vascular fraction (SVF) of adipose tissue in treating common diseases and the next steps in research that must occur prior to clinical use. Overall, Bateman et al. report that SVF and ASC represent promising therapies for a variety of human diseases, particularly for patients with severe cases refractory to current medical treatments, although randomized controlled trials must be performed to elaborate potential safety and efficacy before clinical use. For all the details, make your way over to STEM CELLS right now!

That’s a wrap for now! Please feel free to leave a comment and discuss the papers covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz. Happy reading!

May 14,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – Pericyte-mediated Cardiovascular Healing, MSC-Derived Microvesicles, Allogeneic Stem Cell Therapy for RDEB, and MSC-aided Islet Transplantation!

 

The Stem Cells Portal brings you a roundup of some of the new and exciting stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells, regenerative medicine, and beyond! 

 

Reviewing the Potential for Pericytes in Cardiovascular Healing

Pericytes, the mural cells of blood microvessels, represent a promising therapeutic candidate for non-revascularizable coronary artery disease (CAD) due to their angiogenic capacities and their “robustness” in response to a hypoxic environment. A new STEM CELLS review article from the Paolo Mededdu lab (University of Bristol, UK) now summarizes the rationale behind and the current progress towards pericyte‐based cell therapy. Cathery et al. also consider different sources of pericytes and harvesting pericytes from cardiovascular surgery and go onto discuss preclinical animal models of myocardial ischemia and current practices to upgrade the production protocol for translation to the clinic.

MSC-Derived Microvesicles Stabilize Lung Endothelium

Previous studies from the lab of Jae‐Woo Lee (University of California San Francisco, USA) suggested that mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-derived microvesicles (MVs) reduced lung inflammation, protein permeability, and pulmonary edema in endotoxin‐induced acute lung injury in mice. In their new study, Hu et al. now demonstrate that MSC-MVs restore protein permeability across injured human lung microvascular endothelial cells (HLMVECs) by increasing Ang1 transcription and secretion into the injured endothelium, which prevents “actin stress fiber” formation. For more on this story, head over to STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.

Allogeneic Stem Cell Therapy for Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa

Previous studies from the laboratory of Mitchell S. Cairo (New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York, USA) highlighted a role for human cord blood‐derived unrestricted somatic stem cell treatment to promote wound healing and ameliorate the blistering phenotype in a recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) mouse model. In their new study, Liao et al. demonstrate significant therapeutic benefits of human allogeneic placental‐derived stem cell (HPDSC) treatment and establish that HPDSCs migrate to the skin and gastrointestinal tract to significantly improve the adherence of the epidermis to the dermis of the skin. See STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now for more on this exciting new study!

MSCs in Islet Transplantation

We end this week with a Perspective from the laboratory of Peter M. Jones (King's College London, UK), who discuss how factors secreted from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) hold the potential to improve islet graft functional survival and transplantation outcomes as a means to cure Type 1 diabetes. Specifically, they report on the potential for the application of cell‐free cocktails of MSC‐derived products to treat islets before transplantation. See STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now for what promises to be a fascinating read.

That’s a wrap for now! Please feel free to leave a comment and discuss the papers covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz. Happy reading!

May 6,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Inter‐species MSC Incompatibility, Promoting Hippocampal Neurogenesis, HIF‐1α Stability and Chondrogenesis, and p70S6 Kinase-1 in MSCs!

The Stem Cells Portal brings you a roundup of some of the new and exciting stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells, regenerative medicine, and beyond!

Inter‐species Incompatibilities Limit Mesenchymal Stem Cell Efficacy

Pro-inflammatory stimuli “license” the immunomodulatory abilities of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) before they can be employed to treat inflammatory diseases and in transplantation. Interestingly, researchers from the lab of Thomas Ritter (National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland) now report that a rat pro‐inflammatory environment cannot “license” human MSCs, causing a failure of human cells to modulate T‐cell activity in vitro and corneal allograft rejection in vivo. Overall, Lohan et al. highlight the potential for ‘false negative’ results in pre‐clinical experiments utilizing xenogeneic cells. See STEM CELLS now for all the details.

Promoting Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Cognitive Ability of Adult Mice

A new study from the lab of Linyin Feng (University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China) has sought to manipulate neural stem cells (NSCs) and enhance endogenous neurogenesis in the adult. Hui et al. now report that a novel small molecular compound, Yhhu‐3792, expands the NSC pool, promotes adult hippocampal neurogenesis, and elevates the cognitive ability of adult mice. Therefore, the authors suggest that Yhhu‐3792 could represent a novel drug candidate for the treatment of hippocampus associated cognitive dysfunction in aging and neurodegenerative diseases. For more information, see the full paper over at STEM CELLS.

HIF‐1α‐stabilizing agents for MSC Chondrogenesis

Hypoxic regulation controls the chondrogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), and so, researchers from the lab of Eileen Gentleman (King's College London, UK) sought to investigate hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) stabilizing compounds as a means to enhance cartilage formation. Taheem et al. demonstrate that the 2‐oxoglutarate analog DMOG induces HIF signaling and an articular chondrocyte‐like expression profile in human BM‐MSC when compared to compounds that reduce Fe2+ bioavailability (CoCl2 or DFX). For all the fine print, head over to STEM CELLS now!

p70S6 Kinase-1 in Mesenchymal Stem Cells

New research from the laboratory of Katsuyuki Takeda (National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado, USA) set out to study the roles of all‐trans retinoic acid (ATRA) or mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in lung tissue regeneration in animal models of emphysema. Interestingly, this new study highlights a role for p70S6K1 signaling pathway activation in lung repair by MSCs and, therefore, upregulation of this pathway in MSCs may provide therapeutic benefits in the treatment of damaged lung tissue such as emphysema. For more details, see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.

That’s a wrap for now! Please feel free to leave a comment and discuss the papers covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz. Happy reading!

May 1,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Cardiomyocyte Maturation, CPCs and ECM, In Vitro effects on Hematopoietic Cells, and AICLI Stem Cell Trial Results!

The Stem Cells Portal brings you a roundup of some of the new and exciting stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells, regenerative medicine, and beyond!

Cardiomyocyte Maturation requires TLR3 activated NFκB

A new study from the labs of Conrad P. Hodgkinson and Victor J. Dzau (Duke University, Durham, North California, USA) recently set out to understand the processes leading to the production of cardiomyocytes. Hodgkinson et al. discovered that the maturation of committed precursors into mature cardiomyocytes requires the activity of the TLR3‐NFκB pathway. For more details, make your way over to STEM CELLS now!

CPCs and the Extracellular Matrix

A new Perspective article from Clotilde Castaldo (University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, Italy) and Isotta Chimenti (“La Sapienza” University of Rome, Italy) asks us to consider the importance of the extracellular matrix (ECM) when proposing novel regenerative therapies for heart failure. To this end, the authors we discuss multiple issues regarding cardiac progenitor cell-based tissue engineering strategies, and, conversely, about the possible antifibrotic mechanisms induced by cell therapy. For more on this fascinating subject, see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.

In Vitro Biology of Human Hematopoietic Cells

The in vitro expansion of human hematopoietic stem (HSCs) and progenitor (HPCs) cells permits their application in a range of experimental strategies, but at what cost? Researchers from the lab of Hector Mayani (National Medical Center, IMSS, San Pablo Tepetlapa, Coyoacan, Mexico) have now established that in vitro culture promoted significant differences, both in functional and genetic terms, when compared to non-cultured cells. Dircio‐Maldonado et al. discovered that in vitro HSCs displayed a deficient content of long‐term culture‐initiating cells, and a marked differentiation bias toward the myeloid lineage, while both HSCs and HPCs demonstrated a limited expansion potential. For all the fine print, head over to STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now!

A Five-Year Study of PuCeT for AICLI

A new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study brings us the results of a purified CD34+ cell transplantation (PuCeT) therapy for angiitis‐induced critical limb ischemia (AICLI) patients. The five-year-long trial, carried out by researchers from the lab of Zhihui Dong and Weiguo Fu (Fudan University, Shanghai, China), found long‐term efficacy and durability of autologous transplantation of purified CD34+ cells including achievement of ideal limb salvage, recovery of labor competence, and improved quality of life. Great news!

That’s a wrap for now! Please feel free to leave a comment and discuss the papers covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz. Happy reading!

April 23,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Stem Cell Radiation Risk, Olfactory Epithelium Progenitor and Stem Cells, MSCs and Heart Disease, and, EpCAM and Colorectal Cancer!

The Stem Cells Portal brings you a roundup of some of the new and exciting stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells, regenerative medicine, and beyond!

Reviewing Radiation Risk and Stem Cells

The first of this week’s review articles from the lab of Umberto Galderisi (Campania University, Naples, Italy) discusses the effects of low dose ionizing radiation (LDIR) on the biology of stem cell compartments. Due to their long life, stem cells may suffer from multiple LDIR insults from medical diagnosis and therapy, air travel, illegal IR waste dumpsites, or by occupational exposures in the nuclear and medical sectors, which can combine to the detriment of stem cell function. For what sounds like a riveting read, head over to STEM CELLS now.

Notch Signaling in Olfactory Epithelium Stem and Progenitor Cells

A new study from the labs of Yiqun Yu and Hongmeng Yu (Fudan University, Shanghai, China) sought to uncover the role of Notch signaling in the regulation of olfactory epithelium (OE) progenitor/stem cells. Employing in vivo lineage tracing, Dai et al. discovered two potential roles for Notch signaling: 1) marking globose basal cells (GBCs) localized in the OE to regulate normal cellular turnover, and 2) marking HBCs to reconstruct OE after injury. For all the intricate details, see STEM CELLS now!

Reviewing Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Heart Disease

This week’s second review article from the lab of Kim A. Connelly (University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada) aims to summarize the known mechanisms that contribute to mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)‐based cardiac regeneration. Ward et al. highlight results from molecular and preclinical studies, discuss clinical trial results to date, describe ongoing investigations, and assess novel approaches for the enhancement of MSC based cardiac regeneration, such as genetic modification. To get yourself up to date, head to STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now!

Reviewing the Role of EpCAM in Aggressive Colorectal Cancer

Our final review article, from the labs of Maximilian Boesch (Kantonsspital St. Gallen, Switzerland) and Andreas Seeber (Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria), provides an update on the role of epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) in cancer stem cells (CSCs) and the epithelial‐to‐mesenchymal transition (EMT) in colorectal cancer (CRC). Additionally, the authors emphasize the potential predictive selection criteria for novel treatment strategies and refined clinical trial design. See STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now for all the fine print.

That’s a wrap for now! Please feel free to leave a comment and discuss the papers covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz. Happy reading!

April 19,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - HSC Radiation Sensitivity, Combined ALS Treatment, Bipotent Megakaryocytic‐Erythroid Progenitors, and Targeting CD133+ Cells!

The Stem Cells Portal brings you a roundup of some of the new and exciting stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells, regenerative medicine, and beyond!

Mlh1 Null HSCs Are Not Sensitized to Radiation

Space travel will entail exposure of astronauts to a range of radiation insults that can negatively affect adult stem cell function. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are highly susceptible to these insults and require functional DNA repair pathways for survival. A new study from the laboratories of Stanton L. Gerson (Case Western Reserve University, Ohio) and Scott M. Welford (University of Miami, Florida, USA) has studied the response of HSCs lacking expression of the Mlh1 protein mismatch repair protein to various forms of radiation. Interestingly, Patel et al. discovered that while cosmic radiation represents a significant risk to the hematopoietic system, there is no dependence on MMR capacity. See STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now for all the details.

Combined Stem Cell and Gene Therapy Treatment for ALS

A new study from the labs of Clive N. Svendsen and Gretchen M. Thomsen (Cedars‐Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA) recently sought to assess a new combination therapy to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The authors transplanted human cortical‐derived neural progenitor cells engineered to secrete glial cell line‐derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) into the cortex of a rat model of ALS, where the cells migrated, matured into astrocytes, and released GDNF. Encouragingly, these actions protected motor neurons, delayed disease pathology, and extended survival of the animals. For all the details on this exciting new combination therapy, head over to STEM CELLS now!

Bipotent Megakaryocytic‐Erythroid Progenitors: Concepts and Controversies

A recent review from Juliana Xavier‐Ferrucio and Diane S. Krause (Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA) focuses on recent advances in the identification and characterization of bipotent megakaryocytic‐erythroid progenitors (MEPs). These cells can produce platelets and red blood cells, and a full understanding of their in vivo derivation and fate decision choices represent critical areas for our understanding of normal blood development and processes underlying cancer. For all the recent studies and an excellent overview of the area, see STEM CELLS now!

Targeting CD133+ Cells in Cancer Therapy

The abrogation of cancer stem cells (CSCs) may provide a means to effectively treat many cancer types; however, we lack a means to specifically target CSCs. Now, a new study from the lab of Faris Farassati (Kansas City Veteran Affairs Medical Center, MO, USA) describes the first mutated version of herpes simplex virus‐1 (HSV‐1) that transcriptionally targets CD133+ cells, a marker for CSCs in many human cancers. Terai et al. demonstrate that treatment with this new virus resulted in a loss of viability and invasiveness of cancer cells and inhibited in vivo tumor growth in various mouse models. For all the fine print, see STEM CELLS now!

That’s a wrap for now! Please feel free to leave a comment and discuss the papers covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz. Happy reading!

April 16,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Prostate Progenitor Cell Activity, Healing by iPSC-Derived MSCs, MINDY1 and ESC Self‐Renewal, and Stem Cell Therapy for Corneal Scarring!

The Stem Cells Portal brings you a roundup of some of the new and exciting stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells, regenerative medicine, and beyond!

Intestinal Healing By iPSC-Derived MSCs

The generation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) may represent a convenient source of autologous cells for therapeutic purposes. To test this approach, researchers from the lab of Steven Dow (Colorado State University, USA) compared iPSC-MSCs with adipose-derived MSCs in a mouse model of intestinal protection. Encouragingly, Soontararak et al. discovered that both MSCs types improved overall intestinal health and healing with equivalent potency and therefore, iPSC-MSCs may represent a new therapy for irritable bowel syndrome and other related diseases/disorders. See STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now for all the fine print.

MAO Loss Impairs Prostate Progenitor Cell Activity

To study the influence of monoamine oxidases (MAOs) during mammalian development, researchers from the laboratory of Boyang Jason Wu (Washington State University, USA) investigated a mouse model lacking both MAO isoforms (A and B). Yin et al. established that MAO loss led to prostate atrophy with reduced prostate basal and stem/progenitor cell activity in adult mice, thereby providing insight into the maintenance of prostate structure and function. Furthermore, the team sees possible implications in their work for the development of new treatments for prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer. Read all the details at STEM CELLS now.

MINDY1 and Embryonic Stem Cell Self‐Renewal

Previous publications from the lab of Leah A. Vardy (A*STAR, Singapore) determined the critical nature of the polyamine regulator AMD1 for embryonic stem cell self‐renewal. The team now returns with a new study that highlights the relative importance of MINDY1, a new stem cell regulator that acts downstream of the polyamines. James et al. discovered the requirement for high polyamine levels for ESC self‐renewal and that polyamines function, in part, through the promotion of high MINDY1 levels. For more on MINDY1, head over to STEM CELLS now!

Enhanced Stem Cell Therapy for Corneal Scarring

A new study from the lab of James L. Funderburgh (University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA) recently sought to explore the potential for compressed collagen gel (CCG) as a vehicle to deliver corneal stromal stem cells (CSSCs) to suppress corneal stromal scarring in a mouse wound‐healing model and promote regeneration of native transparent tissue. Their new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study now demonstrates that these gels facilitate handling, storage, and transfer of cells to the eye, and gel‐embedded cells exhibit greater potency for corneal regeneration than stem cells alone.

That’s a wrap for now! Please feel free to leave a comment and discuss the papers covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz. Happy reading!