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

January 19, 2017

A roundup of some the recent stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells and regenerative medicine

Past Buzz

January 16,2017 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - S1PR3 and HSPCs, Revealing STRO-1 Antigen Identity, MSCs and Myocarditis, and hUCB-MSCs and MI Treatment!

A roundup of some the recent stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells and regenerative medicine

S1PR3 Keeps HSPCs at Home

Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) leave their bone marrow niche in response to stressful situations although just what controls their movement is relatively unknown. However, new research from the lab of Edward Botchwey (Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA) has now demonstrated that the sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 3 (S1PR3) expression keeps HSPCs “at home” in their niche. The authors hope that their new findings may be of use in clinical stem cell mobilization and re-engraftment strategies. See Stem Cells for all the details.

Revealing the target for the STRO-1 Antibody

The STRO-1 antibody has been used to understand mesenchymal precursor cells (MPC) and their progeny for years, although the exact antigen that it targets remained a mystery. However, the lab of Andrew C.W. Zannettino (University of Adelaide, Australia) has solved this mystery and revealed that STRO-1 recognizes heat shock cognate 70 (HSC70;HSPA8)! Get on over to Stem Cells and get to the bottom of the mystery yourself!

How Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Treat Myocarditis

The treatment of Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3)-induced myocarditis with mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) leads to multiple positive effects on outcome, although we currently do not understand how this happens. However, a new study from the lab of Sophie Van Linthout (Charité – University of Medicine Berlin, Germany) has now revealed that MSC treatment leads to increases in anti-inflammatory monocytes to the heart. See Stem Cells Translational Medicine now for all the details.

Engineered hUCB-MSCs for the Treatment of Myocardial Infarction

More stem cells for heart problems, but this time we are talking about the treatment of myocardial infarction with human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUCB-MSCs). The lab of Je-Yoel Cho (Seoul National University, South Korea) have engineered a cell line with inducible VEGF expression in order to boost therapeutic effect but limit potentially deleterious side effects. Their results look promising; could this represent a new and exciting means to treat MI? See Stem Cells Translational Medicine now to see for yourself!

So that’s a wrap for this week! Please let us know your views on all the stories we have covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz, and please let us know if we have missed anything interesting! Happy reading!

January 11,2017 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – PRL2 and Thymic Progenitors, Boosting iPSC-RBC Production, AFSCs and Bladder Dysfunction, and Tolerance Induction by Hematopoietic Chimerism!

A roundup of some the recent stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells and regenerative medicine

Thymic Progenitors and PRL2-mediated Signaling

The mechanisms which control the production of thymic progenitors from hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) are not well understood, but a new study from Yan Liu (Indiana University, Indianapolis, USA) and Zhong-Yin Zhang (Purdue University, Indianapolis, USA) hopes to change this fact. Their new research has highlighted the importance of the PRL2 phosphatase in mediating Notch and c-Kit signaling; get over to Stem Cells now to see all the details!

KLF1 Boosts iPSC-RBC Production

The production of red blood cells (RBCs) from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) may represent an effective means to produce large amounts of patient-specific transplantable donor material. However, current protocols just don’t come up to scratch! To solve this problem, the lab of Lesley M Forrester (University of Edinburgh, UK) have employed the exogenous expression of the Erythroid Krüppel-like factor 1 (EKLF/KLF1) to improve differentiation efficiency and increase iPSC-RBC stability. See their great new study at Stem Cells now!

Treating Bladder Dysfunction with Amniotic Fluid Stem Cells

The lab of S.W. Steven Shaw (Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan, Republic of China) recently aimed to test if human amniotic fluid stem cells (hAFSCs) grafting could represent a legitimate means to treat bladder dysfunction in an animal stroke model. In their new Stem Cells Translational Medicine study, Liang et al report that their strategy is effective, and may be due to an increase in the expression of nerve growth factor (NGF), M2-muscarinic, M3-muscarinic, and P2X1 receptors in the bladder.

Tolerance Induction by Hematopoietic Chimerism

One possible strategy to avoid life-long immunosuppressive therapy following cell/tissue grafting is to induce tolerance via hematopoietic chimerism. In a new Stem Cells Translational Medicine article, the lab of Nadir Askenasy (Frankel Laboratory of Experimental Bone Marrow Transplantation, Petach Tikva, Israel) provide an excellent review of the area and all the new efforts under development. Sounds like a great read!

So that’s a wrap for this week! Please let us know your views on all the stories we have covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz, and please let us know if we have missed anything interesting! Happy reading!

January 7,2017 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – Rare Disease Modelling, Cartilage Repair, AFSC Review, and Enriching and Selecting hPSCs!

A roundup of some the recent stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells and regenerative medicine

CRISPR/Cas9 and Rare Neurodevelopmental Disorder Modelling

CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology has huge potential in various fields and now, the lab of Carl Ernst (McGill University, Quebec, Canada) has combined CRISP/Cas9 with induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) reprogramming in order to model rare neurodevelopmental disorders. See their new Stem Cells Translational Medicine study for all the details about this new and exciting platform.

MSC-based Meniscal Cartilage Repair

A recent Stem Cells Translational Medicine study has described how mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) seeded onto a collagen scaffold may represent an exciting means to treat the meniscal cartilage tears which predispose to osteoarthritis (OA). This study, from the lab of Anthony P. Hollander (University of Liverpool, UK), describes in vitro optimization steps and the successful application of this treatment strategy in humans. The study found significant clinical improvement and suggests that patient-derived MSCs may represent a safe way to augment meniscal repair.

Reviewing the Potential of Amniotic Fluid Stem Cells

Studies have reported that stem cells derived from human amniotic fluid (AFSCs) have multilineage differentiation potential without forming tumors, amongst other notable characteristics. So, are AFSCs an ideal stem cell population for regenerative medicine? To review all the current thinking, head over to Stem Cells and read the recent review from the lab of Paolo De Coppi (University College London, UK).

New Tools to Identify and Select hPSCs

New tools to aid the selection of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are always welcome and a new study from Carmel M. O'Brien and Andrew L. Laslett (CSIRO Manufacturing, Clayton, Victoria, Australia) now describes the generation of 7 new monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to epitopes present on the cell surface of hPSCs. Their new Stem Cells study describes how their new mAbs correlate to OCT4 expression and the presence of TRA-160 and SSEA-4, making them potentially exciting new tools.

So that’s a wrap for this week! Please let us know your views on all the stories we have covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz, and please let us know if we have missed anything interesting! Happy reading!

January 2,2017 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – Lung Repair, Cartilage Regeneration, ESC-derived SGNs, and MSC-Combo Trial for Emphysema!

A roundup of some the recent stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells and regenerative medicine

Repairing the Lung with hAECs

Human amnion epithelial cells (hAECs) possess potent immunomodulatory properties and can influence macrophage polarization and activity, dependent on regulatory T cells. A new study from Rebecca Lim (Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Clayton, Victoria, Australia) assessed the effects of hAEC-derived proresolution lipoxin-A4 (LXA4) during the acute phase of bleomycin-induced lung injury. Their new Stem Cells Translational Medicine study demonstrates that LXA4 mediate the interaction of a variety of immune cells to propitiate effect lung repair and the authors hope that this will help to inform the design of safe and efficacious hAEC therapies for lung disease.

Hydrostatic Bioreactor for Improved Cartilage Regeneration

Current stem cell therapies have now moved to the next dimension with more and more studies employing three-dimensional (3D) growth conditions due to improved outcomes. A new study from the lab of Guangdong Zhou (Shanghai 9th People’s Hospital, PR China) has now demonstrated how in vitro cartilage regeneration can be improved with a newly developed hydrostatic pressure (HP) bioreactor for 3D cell growth. See all the details over at Stem Cells Translational Medicine now!

ESC-derived SGNs for Hearing Loss Treatment

Spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) generated by the directed differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) may represent a means to develop therapies aimed at reversing hearing loss. The lab of Akihiro J. Matsuoka (Northwestern University, Chicago, USA) now presents a new and improved protocol for the generation of ESC-derived SGNs. Their new Stem Cells Translational Medicine study describe how the produced cells closely mimic human SGNs and so this study may represent the first step towards a stem cell cure for hearing loss.

Phase 1 Trial of MSCs-Combo for Pulmonary Emphysema

The treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients with one-way endobronchial valve (EBV) insertion presents problems associated with local inflammation. However, a new study from the lab of Patricia Rieken Macedo Rocco (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) has combined EBV insertion with intrabronchial administration of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) to dampen the inflammation. Encouragingly, de Oliveira et al  determined this strategy to be safe in a clinical trial. See all the details of this promising new therapy at Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

So that’s a wrap for this week! Please let us know your views on all the stories we have covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz, and please let us know if we have missed anything interesting! Happy reading!

December 25,2016 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – OA and AMSCs, Progenitor Mobilization, Drug Sensitivity, and Transplantation Re-interpretation!

A roundup of some the recent stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells and regenerative medicine

On the Road to Treating OA with AMSCs

To bring closer a possible phase I clinical trial of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AMSCs) for osteoarthritis (OA), the team of Andre van Wijnen (Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, USA) has carried out some exciting preclinical rabbit studies. Following delivery of culture-expanded human AMSCs into rabbit knees, Riester et al employed x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and histopathology to demonstrate the lack of adverse systemic reactions or intra-articular joint tissue damage. See all the encouraging details at Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

Understanding Bone Marrow Progenitor Mobilization in Heart Disease

As a consequence of disease/damage to the heart, bone marrow-progenitor cells mobilize into the bloodstream to help out; however, we do not fully understand the mechanisms behind this process. A new study from the lab of Ahmed Abdel-Latif (University of Kentucky, USA) now demonstrates that plasma levels of the bioactive lipid ceramide-1 phosphate (C1P) correlates to circulating progenitor cell number and, therefore, may represent an exciting mechanism to target to improve therapeutic outcomes. See Stem Cells Translational Medicine for all the details.

Ex Vivo Drug Sensitivity Assessment in Leukemic HSPCs

The lab of Scott Kaufmann (Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, USA) report in a recent Stem Cells Translational Medicine study on a method for assessing drug sensitivity in patient-derived leukemic hematopoietic progenitor/stem cell (HSPC) populations ex vivo via multi-color flow cytometry. Knorr et al describe distinct reactions of various HSPC populations to the investigational Nedd8-activating enzyme inhibitor MLN4924 and standard-of-care agent cytarabine and suggest that their system may find use in the rational design and selection of therapies in the clinical setting.

GFP Transfer Results Suggest the Need for Photoreceptors Transplantation Re-interpretation

A new study from the laboratory of Valerie Wallace (University of Toronto, Canada) and published in Stem Cells reports that GFP-tracking of transplanted cells may not represent the best option! Ortin-Martinez et al revealed material exchange of GFP, used to track transplanted photoreceptor cells, from donor cells to host photoreceptors suggesting that GFP is not a good indicator of transplant success. Therefore, this study may drive the re-interpretation of many lineage-tracing fluorescent reporter-based studies.

 

So that’s a wrap for this week! Please let us know your views on all the stories we have covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz, and please let us know if we have missed anything interesting! Happy reading!

December 19,2016 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – Intervertebral Disc Regeneration, A new Limbal Resource, Sporadic Mutations, and Accelerating Liver Regeneration

A roundup of some the recent stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells and regenerative medicine

Stem Cell Boost to Liver Regeneration

Small hepatocyte-like progenitor cells (SHPCs) from in clusters within damage liver tissue and transplantation of putative Thy-1 positive liver stem cells seems to enhance liver regeneration. But how? Researchers from the lab of Norihisa Ichinohe and Toshihiro Mitaka (Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, Japan) now demonstrate that liver stem cell transplantation boosts SHPC interleukin 17 receptor b (IL17rb) expression and enhances proliferation. See Stem Cells for all the juicy details.

Systemic MSC Treatment for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration

Recent research from the laboratory of Carla Cunha (Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal) has focused on intervertebral disc (IVD) regeneration in rates via the systemic transplantation of allogeneic bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Their new Stem Cells Translational Medicine study suggests that MSCs are beneficial and “highlight the complex interplay between stromal cells and cells of the immune system in achieving successful tissue regeneration.”

Assessing Sporadic Mutations in hPSCs

Recent studies have identified common genomic aberrations in human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) and their unwanted consequences. However, the lab of Louise C. Laurent (University of California, San Diego, USA) sought to assess the phenotypic consequences related to sporadic mutations instead. In their new Stem Cells study, the team describes how a single-copy deletion of the chr17p13.1 region (which contains the TP53 tumor suppressor gene) leads to a selective advantage to hPSCs grown under stressful conditions. Amir et al propose that “sporadic mutations in hPSCs can have phenotypic effects that may impact their utility for clinical applications.”

A New Resource for the Study of Limbal Stem Cells

Loss of adequate limbal stem cell (LSC) function leads to the development of painful eye condition which can be treated through the application of donor-derived limbal epithelial cells (LECs). To understand the process better, the lab of Annette Meeson (Newcastle University, UK) have created a new resource - a human telomerase-immortalized corneal epithelial cell (HTCEC) line. Their new Stem Cells Translational Medicine article describes how HTCECs contain LSCs and are very similar to tissue-derived limbal cells and, therefore, may represent a useful new resource for limbal stem cell biology.

So that’s a wrap for this week! Please let us know your views on all the stories we have covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz, and please let us know if we have missed anything interesting! Happy reading!

December 14,2016 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – NSCs and iMRI, OSM-Treated MSCs, ERCs and B-Cell Responses……..and more!

A roundup of some the recent stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells and regenerative medicine

Treating Pulmonary Fibrosis with OSM-Treated MSCs

Mesenchymal stem cells have great potential for the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis, and researchers from the lab of Kowit-Yu Chong (Chang Gung University, Taiwan, China) sought to increase this potential further with a preconditioning strategy. High levels of oncostatin M (OSM) appear in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of pulmonary fibrosis animal models and pre-treatment of MSCs with OSM upregulated hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) expression, increased cell proliferation and migration, and significantly improved pulmonary respiratory functions and downregulated expression of inflammatory factors and fibrotic factors. See Stem Cells Translational Medicine for all the details.

SMSCs, Exosomes, and Wound Healing

The lab of Chang-Qing Zhang (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, PR China) noted that while synovium mesenchymal stem cells (SMSCs) promoted fibroblast proliferation, they demonstrated no effect on endothelial cells. SMSCs need this ability if they are to find use as an effective wound healing strategy. Their new Stem Cells Translational Medicine describes how the lab have now employed exosomes derived from miR-126-3p-overexpressing SMSCs combined with chitosan to enhance fibroblast and endothelial cell proliferation. Furthermore, this strategy accelerated re-epithelialization and activated angiogenesis in a diabetic rat model.

Organ Transplants – ERCs Modulate the B-Cell Response

Immunosuppression by certain stem cell populations may represent an effective strategy to modulate B-cell responses in organs transplants. The lab of Hao Wang (Tianjin Medical University, PR China) assessed the effect of mesenchymal-like endometrial regenerative cell (ERC) treatment during heart transplantation in mice in a recent Stem Cells Translational Medicine study. ERCs non-invasively obtained from menstrual blood inhibited B-cell activation and differentiation and their immunomodulatory effect and hypoimmunogenicity could, therefore, represent a means to prevent/treat acute and chronic humoral rejection.

Boosting Primate HSPCs with ECs

Culture expansion of bone marrow (BM)-derived hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) to the numbers required for therapeutic applications has some unfortunate side effects: loss of multipotency and self-renewal properties. To counter this loss, the lab of Hans-Peter Kiem (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, USA) assessed the utility of an ex vivo vascular niche of endothelial cells (ECs) to provide pro-hematopoietic signals. Their new Stem Cells Translational Medicine reportdescribes their successful attempts, so go see the details now!

Towards the Clinical Translation of PSC-derived Neurons for PD

Deriving ventral midbrain dopamine (vmDA) neurons from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is an exciting proposition. A few obstacles still remain in the way, although a new study from Clare L. Parish and Jonathan C. Niclis (University of Melbourne, Australia) sought to get round these and move towards hPSC-vmDA clinical translation. Their new Stem Cells Translational Medicine article describes a fully defined feeder- and xeno- free protocol employing two novel reporter knock-in lines for in-depth tracking purposes. This strategy provides scalability, cryopreservation, and, importantly, improves engraftment outcomes and restoration of motor deficits following transplantation into a rodent model.

Tracking NSCs with iMRI

Researchers from the lab of Marcel M. Daadi (Texas Biomedical Research Institute, USA) have a great solution to a perhaps underestimated problem in stem cell therapies. The mode of delivery is problematic and can lead to cell death which translates to poor patient outcome. Malloy et al describe, in their new Stem Cells Translational Medicine study, a “minimally invasive interventional MRI (iMRI) approach for intraoperatively imaging neural stem cell (NSC) delivery procedures”. This affords submillimeter accuracy and real-time imaging and could lead to increases in the safety and efficacy of many stem cell therapies.

So that’s a wrap for this week! Please let us know your views on all the stories we have covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz, and please let us know if we have missed anything interesting! Happy reading!

December 10,2016 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – Suppressing Shedding, Induced Megakaryocytes, Treating PDs with MSCs……..and more!

A roundup of some the recent stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells and regenerative medicine

Suppressing Shedding Enhances Function of iPSC-derived Platelets

While platelets production from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) represents an exciting strategy, current differentiation conditions lead to the shedding of a glycoprotein (GPIbα) whose function is critical for platelet adhesive function and lifetime in vivo. In a new Stem Cells Translational Medicine study, researchers from the lab of Koji Eto (Kyoto University, Japan) have describes their experiences employing a new inhibitor of ADAM17 which contributes to GPIbα shedding. This study could represent a great step closer to the clinic for stem cell-derived platelets!

Induced Megakaryocytes: Solving the Platelet Problem?

Another platelet problem is discussed in this next Stem Cells Translational Medicine study! This time, researchers from the labs of Yongping Jiang and Wei Dai (Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Suzhou, PR China) aimed to generate functional megakaryocytes (platelet-producing cells) from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) under xeno-free conditions in order to then generate sufficient platelets for clinical use. These induced human megakaryocytic cells seemed to function well in mouse and non-human primate models and so their platelet-producing powers may be the answer for clinical needs!

Cancer Stem Cell Therapeutic from Chinese Medicine

Many labs have searched far and wide for compounds capable of targeting cancer stem cell (CSC)-associated tumors, such as glioma. Now, this search has touched down in China with a report from the lab of Zhong-ping Chen (Sun Yat‐sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, PR China) who describe a potentially interesting compound derived from a Chinese medicinal herb. Feng et al demonstrate how β-Elemene (bELE) can inhibit the growth and self-renewal of glioma stem-like cells (GSLCs) and functions synergistically with the current first-line medicine, temozolomide (TMZ). See Stem Cells Translational Medicine for all the great details.

Testing Nutraceuticals with hPSC-ECs and -HEPs!

When compared to small molecules, the complex constituents present in national supplements, or “nutraceuticals” makes preclinical testing difficult. However, new research from Christine Cheung (Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Proteos, Singapore) have now described a coculture system of human pluripotent stem cell-derived endothelial cells (hPSC-ECs) and human pluripotent stem cell-derived hepatocytes (hPSC-HEPs) which Narmada et al hope can be employed to predict, in this case, the vascular-protective effects of nutraceuticals. See all the details and all the potential over at Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

Reviewing RCD Prevention with MSCs

The prevention of regulated cell death (RCD) might represent a hidden talent of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) which might explain their regenerative and anti-inflammatory therapeutic effect. To review all the current knowledge and to see what lies just over the horizon, get over to Stem Cells Translational Medicine now to see what Abderrahim Naji (Kochi University, Japan) has to say!

Cleaving Parkinson’s Associated Synuclein Aggregates with MSCs?

A recent study out of the lab of Phil Hyu Lee (Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea) has assessed a role for mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the removal of the extracellular α-synuclein aggregates associated with Parkinsonian disorders (PDs). Excitingly, Oh et al found positive results in an animal model and have highlighted a special role for MSC-secreted matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) in extracellular α-synuclein degradation. Get all the details at Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

So that’s a wrap for this week! Please let us know your views on all the stories we have covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz, and please let us know if we have missed anything interesting! Happy reading!

December 6,2016 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – MSCs and HO, EPCs and Renal Fibrosis, CD44 Glycovariant and hMSCs……..and more!

A roundup of some the recent stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells and regenerative medicine

Reviewing MSC Treatment for Organ Dysfunction

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) represent an exciting therapeutic option for the treatment of trauma- or sepsis-related major organ failure. A new review from Michael A. Matthay (University of California, USA) highlights preclinical studies in this area, considering the progress, limitations, and the standardization required for MSC production and application. See this excellent new review article in Stem Cells.

MSCs and Recurrence of Heterotopic Ossification

Musculoskeletal injuries can often lead to the unwanted formation of bone in the soft tissue (Heterotopic ossification [HO]) which can be surgically removed. However, HO can recur leading to problems for those suffering from this condition. To better understand this process, researchers from the lab of Benjamin Levi (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA) have been studying a mouse model of recurrent HO and now highlight an important role for mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Agarwal et al suggest 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”. See all the details at Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

Boosting Human MSCs via CD44 Glycovariant

Systemically administered human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) need to bind to the vascular endothelium to efficiently do their job. To help this process, the lab of Robert Sackstein (Harvard Institutes of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA) have modified an available CD44 glycovariant to create an hematopoietic cell E-/L-selectin ligand (HCELL). The CD44 glycovariant appears on hMSCs from the bone marrow and adipose tissue and its conversion allows for the adhesion of circulating cells to endothelial beds expressing E-selectin. See Stem Cells for all the details.

Using EPCs to Find a Treatment for Renal Fibrosis

Kei Matsumoto (Showa University, Shinagawa, Japan) and Michael S. Goligorsky (New York Medical College, USA) theorized that exposure to endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) extracts could reverse the accumulation of myofibroblasts associated with renal fibrosis. Through some diligent experimentation, Matsumoto et al have now demonstrated that leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and a receptor-independent gp130/STAT3 agonist, hyper-IL-6, present in the extracts efficiently does the job! See Stem Cells Translational Medicine for all the fine print on this new study.

Reviewing Stem cell Treatment of PMD

Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) is caused by a mutation in the proteolipid protein-1 (PLP1) gene which codes for the proteolipid protein of myelinating oligodendroglia. The mutation leads to central hypomyelination, neurological dysfunction, progressive deterioration, and death. Neural stem cell (NSC) and glial progenitor cell transplantation hold great potential as a treatment strategy and Stem Cells has now published a concise review on the field authored by the team from the Steve Goldman lab (University of Rochester Medical Center, New York, USA).

Clinical Efficacy of BM-MSCs in Buerger’s Disease CLI

A new Stem Cells Translational Medicine article brings us the results of a phase II, prospective, nonrandomized, open-label, multicentric, dose-ranging study to assess the efficacy and safety of adult human bone marrow-derived, cultured, pooled, allogeneic mesenchymal stromal cells (BMMSC) in critical limb ischemia (CLI) caused by Buerger’s disease (inflammation and thrombosis in small and medium-sized blood vessels). Phew! Encouragingly, the trial undertaken by the team of Pawan Kumar Gupta (Stempeutics Research Pvt Ltd, Bangalore, India) found the procedure to be safe and efficacious and symptoms improved in most patients. Great news!

So that’s a wrap for this week! Please let us know your views on all the stories we have covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz, and please let us know if we have missed anything interesting! Happy reading!

December 2,2016 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – Isolating LPCs, MSC Secretome, Cell of Origin for Prostate Cancer……..and more!

A roundup of some the recent stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells and regenerative medicine

Identifying and Enriching the Cell of Origin for Prostate Cancer

Identifying the cell of origin for various cancers will allow the creation of new strategies and enhanced patient specific treatments. The groups of Dingxiao Zhang and Dean G. Tang (Roswell Park Cancer Institute, New York USA) have been assessing the cell of origin for prostate cancer and report their new findings in Stem Cells Translational Medicine. They now show, using a two-dimensional cell culture system, that luminal progenitor cells may be a prime target for that title!

Stimulating cardiac ATDPCs to Improve Reparative Function!

Cardiac cells encounter constant mechanical and electrical forces under normal conditions (i.e. in the beating heart of a body!), so is it any surprise that treating stem cells destined for cardiac repair with the same stimuli could enhance cardiac repair? The lab of Antoni Bayes-Genis (Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain) assessed the role of such stimuli on cardiac adipose tissue-derived progenitor cells (cardiac ATDPCs) destined to be transplanted into a mouse model of myocardial infarction. Their new Stem Cells Translational Medicine study suggests that a little stretching and a little zap of electricity (see the paper for the real stimuli!) ultimately mediated an enhancement in cardiac function recovery and increased vessel density!

Choosing the Best Route for Stem Cell Treatment of MS

The labs of Tamir Ben-Hur and Raphael Gorodetsky (Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel) have recently published their findings into stem cell treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) using mouse models. They chose human placental stromal cells (hPSCs) and assessed various forms of delivery as compared to the more commonly used intravenous route which carries some inherent problems (e.g. dosing limits, pulmonary obstruction). Their new Stem Cells Translational Medicine study now shows that hPSCs worked well in attenuating MS-like symptoms following direct delivery to the mouse central nervous system (CNS). Unfortunately, delivery to peripheral musculature led to a strong local immune reaction and a limited clinical therapeutic effect.

Improving Cardiac Regeneration with Modified hucMSCs

A new study from the lab of Wei Zhu (Jiangsu University, PR China) has combined two cardioprotective strategies into one neat little package which they hope will improve cardiac regeneration. The study employed exosomes derived from umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hucMSCs) overexpressing the serine/threonine-specific protein kinase Akt in an acute myocardial infarction (MI) model. Excitingly, they found their new combination to be more effective than unmodified MSCs and functioned by promoting angiogenesis. See Stem Cells Translational Medicine for all the details on this excellent new study.

Isolating LPCs with Human Lung Spheroids

The isolation of lung progenitor cells (LPCs) may lead to the development of effective lung regenerative strategies. A new study from the lab of Isotta Chimenti (“Sapienza” University of Rome, Italy) set out to discover if different cell conditions may affect LPC derivation and growth and permit their continued in vitro culture. Using a 3D spheroid culture system, they have been able to create a niche-like pro-epithelial microenvironment which aids LPC maintenance and significantly alters LPC phenotype. The study reports many advantages over standard 2D culture methodology and may boost the application of LPCs in basic and translational studies. See Stem Cells Translational Medicine now to see how 3D trumps 2D!

The MSC Secretome and Parkinson’s Disease Therapy

The therapeutic role of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is thought to be conveyed through the potent paracrine effects of their secretome. But what components are important when MSCs are applied to, for example, Parkinson’s Disease (PD)? To answer this question, researchers from the lab of António J. Salgado (University of Minho, Braga, Portugal) assessed how a rat model of PD reacted following transplantation of the MSC secretome. They observed an increase the recovery of motor performance outcomes which they linked to the presence of several important neuroregulatory molecules. See how cell-free therapies may be the way forward by checking out this new Stem Cells Translational Medicine study now!

So that’s a wrap for this week! Please let us know your views on all the stories we have covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz, and please let us know if we have missed anything interesting! Happy reading!