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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – PGE2 and MSC Potency, Perivascular MSC Hierarchy, NAMPT Inhibition and hPSC-CMs, and Engineered iPSC-Derived Endothelial Cells!



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

PGE2 Levels Correlate to Potency of MSCs in TBI Treatment

The assessment of specific biomarkers provides a means to indicate the potential success, or failure, of stem cell therapies. In a new study, the lab of Scott D. Olson (University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, USA) has now demonstrated that successful treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) correlated to high levels of COX2 expression and PGE2 secretion. Get over to Stem Cells now to see how these new biomarkers could boost TBI treatment!

Developmental Hierarchy among Perivascular Cells

The perivascular niche of adipose tissue represents the home for a range of multipotent mesenchymal stem-like cells. A recent study from the lab of Bruno Peault (UCLA, Los Angeles, USA) sought to uncover the developmental hierarchy of these cells based on a functional marker of primitivity, aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity. In Stem Cells, Reef Hardy et al now describe the presence of 4 main types of adipose stem cells (ASCs) and pericytes (PCs) which may lay the groundwork for network-based analyses.

NAMPT inhibition and hPSC Cardiomyocyte Differentiation

Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) inhibition can selectively remove remaining undifferentiated, and potentially tumorigenic, cells from differentiating cultures of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CM). A new study from the lab of Rebekah L. Gundry (Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA) now suggests that “cardiomyogenic commitment and continued culturing provides resistance to NAMPT inhibition and cell survival is associated with the ability to maintain cellular ATP pools despite depletion of NAD levels”. Kropp et al hope that their findings can be exploited to refine tumorigenic cell/CM differentiation protocols; see Stem Cells Translational Medicine to find out more.


Engineered iPSC-Derived Endothelial Cells and Vascular Injury Response

The lab of Dongqi Xing (University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA) hoped to boost the vascular injury repair potential of endothelial cells (ECs) derived from rat-induced pluripotent stem cells (RiPS) by overexpressing certain interleukin (IL8RA/B) and C-C chemokine (CCR2/5) receptors. Their new Stem Cells Translational Medicine study now indicates that receptor overexpression can improve targeting to injured arteries and decrease injury-induced inflammatory cytokine expression, neutrophil/macrophage infiltration, and neointima formation. Will this novel strategy lead to improved therapeutic interventions for human patients?

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!