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Recently Published

Summaries of the most recent articles published in STEM CELLS and STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.

October 15, 2019

Given that metabolism controls stem cell function and that purine metabolism represents a critical component of cellular metabolism, researchers from the laboratory of Hartmut Geiger

October 15, 2019

The degradation products from autophagy can serve as an optional nutrient supply for cell survival and differentiation, making autophagy a suitable energy‐refueling process during osteogenesis by mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).

October 15, 2019

Cardiac‐derived progenitor cells (CPCs) have been widely studied as a cell‐based therapy for cardiac pathologies; however, they tend to display an age-related decline in therapeutic efficacy.

October 15, 2019

The lack of dystrophin in muscle myofibers represents the central cause of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the most common inherited muscular dystrophy; however, evidence suggests that DMD may also be a stem cell disease.

October 8, 2019

Cranial radiation therapy as a treatment of brain cancers can lead to adverse impacts on cognitive function; however, previous studies from the laboratory of Charles L. Limoli (University of California, Irvine, USA) discovered that human neural stem cells (hNSCs) can provide beneficial neurocognitive effects in the irradiated brain.

October 8, 2019

While genetically encoded fluorescent voltage indicators can report on action potentials in human induced pluripotent stem cell‐derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC‐CMs), the transfection process presents several drawbacks. To solve this problem, researchers from the laboratory of Deborah K.

October 8, 2019

Small molecule activators of cardiac progenitor cell proliferation may form part of regenerative therapies for the treatment of myocardial infarction.

October 8, 2019

Researchers led by Sean I.

Past Buzz

October 15,2019 PCK2 Promotes Osteogenesis by MSCs via Autophagy

The degradation products from autophagy can serve as an optional nutrient supply for cell survival and differentiation, making autophagy a suitable energy‐refueling process during osteogenesis by mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). A recent study led by Ping Zhang and Yongsheng Zhou (Peking University, Beijing, China) sought to explore a role for phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PCK2) in autophagy, given studies supporting PCK2 as a critical enzyme for anabolism. In their new STEM CELLS study, Li et al. now establish that PCK2 promotes osteogenic differentiation by positively regulating autophagy in MSCs, a finding that may facilitate bone tissue engineering and the maintenance of bone homeostasis.

October 15,2019 Electrical Stimulation of Pediatric CPCs

Cardiac‐derived progenitor cells (CPCs) have been widely studied as a cell‐based therapy for cardiac pathologies; however, they tend to display an age-related decline in therapeutic efficacy. In an effort to solve this problem, researchers led by Joshua T. Maxwell (Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA) recently established that electrical stimulation of pediatric CPCs induced a heightened therapeutic effect following transplantation into the failing heart. This new STEM CELLS study suggests that electrical stimulation may enhance the reparative ability of CPCs and provides insights into the mechanism of enhanced functionality that can be translated to other cell‐based therapies.

 

October 15,2019 Dystrophin Restoration in Muscle Progenitor Cells

The lack of dystrophin in muscle myofibers represents the central cause of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the most common inherited muscular dystrophy; however, evidence suggests that DMD may also be a stem cell disease. In a recent STEM CELLS study from the laboratory of Johnny Huard (UTHealth, Houston, Texas, USA), Matre et al. establish that the restoration of dystrophin expression in muscle progenitor cells via CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing enhanced their function, suggesting a novel role of dystrophin in muscle progenitor cells and a potentially novel therapeutic approach for DMD.

October 8,2019 Stem Cell-Derived EV Protects the Irradiated Brain

Cranial radiation therapy as a treatment of brain cancers can lead to adverse impacts on cognitive function; however, previous studies from the laboratory of Charles L. Limoli (University of California, Irvine, USA) discovered that human neural stem cells (hNSCs) can provide beneficial neurocognitive effects in the irradiated brain. Now, in a new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study, Smith et al. revealed that hNSCs and hNSC‐derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) act in a comparable manner to preserve host neuronal morphology, reduce inflammation, and restore neurotrophic factors in the irradiated brain. Overall, this new study provides evidence for “potent far‐reaching neuroprotective effects mediated by grafted stem cells or EVs adjacent and distal to the site of transplantation and support their potential as therapeutic agents to counteract the adverse effects of cranial irradiation”.

October 8,2019 Engineered hiPSC-CMs for Action Potential Assessments

While genetically encoded fluorescent voltage indicators can report on action potentials in human induced pluripotent stem cell‐derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC‐CMs), the transfection process presents several drawbacks. To solve this problem, researchers from the laboratory of Deborah K. Lieu (University of California, Davis, Sacramento, California, USA) report on an hiPSC line stably expressing “ArcLight” from the AAVS1 safe harbor locus generated by CRISPR/Cas9. Sun et al. report in STEM CELLS that ArcLight expression persists following myocardial differentiation, thereby allowing the repeated assessment of action potentials in hiPSC‐derived cardiomyocytes.

Furthermore, read the Stem Cells Portal Press Release for more information regarding this study!

October 8,2019 Discovery of Cardiac Progenitor Cell Proliferators

Small molecule activators of cardiac progenitor cell proliferation may form part of regenerative therapies for the treatment of myocardial infarction. Now, researchers led by Jane McPheat (AstraZeneca, Gothenburg, Sweden) used a  phenotypic screen to identify retinoic acid receptor agonists as potent and specific “proliferators” of induced pluripotent stem cell‐derived cardiac progenitor cells. Drowley et al. hope to follow up this research, published in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, by investigating how this mechanism translates in vivo to activate endogenous cardiac progenitor cells and if enhancing the proliferation of these progenitor cells can enhance cardiac repair.

October 8,2019 Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cells for Ischemic Stroke

Researchers led by Sean I. Savitz (UTHealth, Houston, Texas, USA) recently conducted a single‐arm, phase I clinical trial to determine the safety and feasibility of intravenous administration of autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells after acute ischemic stroke. Their results, published recently in STEM CELLS, provide foundational evidence for the safety and feasibility of using patients' own bone marrow cells to enhance recovery after ischemic stroke. Furthermore, read the Stem Cells Portal Press Release for more information regarding this study!

September 17,2019 MSC Properties Rely on Tissue of Origin

Researchers led by Karin Tarte (Université de Rennes, France) recently assessed the influence of tissue of origin on the functional properties of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in a recent STEM CELLS study. Ménard et al. evaluated transcriptomic, phenotypic, and functional features of paired adipose‐derived stem cells (ASCs) and bone marrow‐derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM‐MSCs) expanded from the same donors and analyzed their native purified counterpart. Overall, the authors highlight how imprinting of tissue influences MSC immune properties and propose adipose tissue as a source of MSCs for the treatment of immune‐mediated diseases.

September 17,2019 Limbal Stem Cell Versus Tissue Transplantation

Researchers led by Vincent M. Borderie (Sorbonne Université, France) recently reported on a comparison of autologous or allogeneic cultured limbal stem cell transplantation and autologous or allogeneic limbal tissue transplantation for the treatment of stage III limbal stem cell deficiency. In their new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article, the authors noted that autologous cultured limbal stem cell transplantation associated with high long‐term survival, vision improvement, and overall safety, whereas limbal grafts featured low safety, and allogeneic grafts featured low success rate and serious adverse events.

September 17,2019 Epidermal Growth Factor-Hydrogel Promotes Astrocyte Culture

In a new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study that aimed to develop a biomaterial platform for glial cell culture, researchers from the laboratory of Eng H. Lo (Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA) now describe the relative importance of epidermal growth factor containing hydrogels for primary astrocyte culture and their polarization into pro‐recovery phenotypes. Chan et al. hope that their findings will complement similar studies that have evaluated neural progenitor cells and neurogenesis and contribute towards cell and regenerative therapies in the central nervous system.