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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – Efficiently Derived hPSC-ECs, MSC Osteogenesis, Linking HF to Memory, and Immune Recognition of Transplants in the CNS!

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

hPSC-ECs – MAPK and PI3K Required!

A recent Stem Cells study from the lab of Ping Zhou (University of California Davis, California, USA) serves us a double hit of stem cell science! Not only do Harding et al provide a great new means of generating highly pure and functional endothelial cells from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC-ECs), but the team also demonstrate the importance of the MAPK and PI3K signaling pathways to the entire process. The hope is that this strategy can aid vascular therapy and further delineate the exact mechanisms behind endothelial cell differentiation.

MSCs Osteogenesis Requires RANKL

New findings from the laboratory of Cristina Sobacchi (Humanitas Clinical and Research Institute, Rozzano, Italy) suggest that the RANKL cytokine, which can affect the immune system and control bone regeneration/remodeling, potentiates mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) differentiation toward the osteogenic lineage. Their new Stem Cells study employs Rankl-defective MSCs and RANKL-expressing lentiviral vectors and proposes the involvement of an autocrine regulatory loop.

Linking Memory Impairment and Heart Failure (HF)

Is there a link between heart failure (HF) and memory impairment? A new Stem Cells Translational Medicine study from the labs of Seong Who Kim (University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea) and Yunhee Kim Kwon (Kyunghee University, Seoul, Korea) certainly thinks so! Their new findings determined that increased levels of Angiotensin II released after myocardial infarction or in response to pressure and volume overload promote apoptosis of adult hippocampal neural stem cells (HCNs). The authors hope that this study may lead to preventative treatments designed to inhibit memory loss.

Reviewing Cell Transplant Immune Recognition in the CNS

A new review article in Stem Cells Translational Medicine from the lab of Peter Ponsaerts (University of Antwerp, Belgium) aims to review cell transplant immune recognition in the central nervous system (CNS). In this review, Hoornaert et alreview the current knowledge on the immune mechanisms involved in the recognition and rejection of allogeneic and xenogeneic cellular grafts in the CNS” and “propose strategies to reduce graft immunogenicity and to improve graft survival in order to design improved cell-based CNS therapies”. Sounds like a fascinating 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!