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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – RIG1 and Reprogramming, Optimized MSC Spheroids, hAFS Extracellular Vesicles, and Corneal Epithelial Stem Cell mediated Wound Healing!

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

Efficient Reprogramming Requires RIG1!

Research from the lab of John P. Cooke (Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston, TX, USA) has indicated a critical role for innate immune signaling in nuclear reprogramming to pluripotency. In their new STEM CELLSstudy, Sayed et al describe the importance of the retinoic acid-inducible gene 1 receptor (RIG-1)-like receptor (RLR) pathway during reprogramming employing retroviral or modified messenger RNA (mmRNA) approaches. Could manipulation of this pathway make the production of induced pluripotent stem cells more efficient?

Optimizing the Regenerative Potential of MSC Spheroids

Growing mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as three-dimensional “spheroids” augments their pro-regenerative capacities. A new study from the team of J. Kent Leach (University of California, Davis, USA) now describes optimal conditions for spheroid growth that enhances anti-inflammatory and proangiogenic potential. Their multivariate analyses (number of cells/spheroid, oxygen tension, and inflammatory stimulus) could make MSC-based treatments more efficient and effective! See STEM CELLS for all the info.

Characterizing Human Amniotic Fluid Stem Cell Extracellular Vesicles

Human amniotic fluid stem cells (hAFS) have shown potential for the treatment of several diseases, mainly through the secretion of pro-regenerative factors. The lab of Sveva Bollini (University of Genova, Italy) has now characterized extracellular vesicles (EV) released by hAFS and demonstrate that EVs contain factors that facilitate significant prosurvival, proliferative, and anti-inflammatory effects. Could hAFS-EVs make up part of a cell-free therapy for a wide range of disorders? See STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now to find out!

Boosting Corneal Epithelial Stem/Progenitor Cells Wound Healing Capabilities

A new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study from the labs of Patrik Danielson and Qingjun Zhou (Umeå University, Sweden) has recently explored the effects of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) on the wound healing capacity of mouse corneal epithelial stem/progenitor cells, given the high concentrations found in the corneal epithelium of various species. Encouragingly, this new study demonstrates increased corneal epithelial wound healing following vitamin C treatment, suggesting that this simple additive could greatly enhance corneal epithelial stem/progenitor cell therapy.

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!