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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Induced Mesenchymal Progenitor Cells, MSC Treatment for DRE, iPSC-derived Corneal Epithelial Cells, and Stem Cell Therapy for CLI!

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The Stem Cells Portal brings you a roundup of some of the new and exciting stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells, regenerative medicine, and beyond!

iPSC-Derived Mesenchymal Cells for Nerve Repair

Researchers from the laboratory of Rocky S. Tuan (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, USA) set themselves a lofty goal: build a better mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)! Their new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study now describes the production of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived mesenchymal progenitor cells (MiMPCs), which secrete various neurotrophic and neuroprotective factors and promote neurite outgrowth in chick embryonic dorsal root ganglia (DRG) cultures. Brick et al. suggest that this new and improved MSC-like cell may represent a renewable source of therapeutic cells and a potential alternative to MSCs for peripheral nerve repair.

BM-MSC Transplantations Improve DRE in Children

As a new treatment option for drug-resistant epilepsy (DRE) in children, researchers working in the lab of Marcin Majka (Jagiellonian University Collegium Medicum, Cracow, Poland) have assessed the safety, feasibility, and potential efficacy of autologous bone marrow cell (BM-MSC) transplantation. The results of this pilot study, published in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, report no adverse events and neurological and cognitive improvement in all patients, including a reduction in the number of epileptic seizures and an absence of status epilepticus episodes. Great news!

Differentiation of hiPSCs to Corneal Epithelial Cells

Limbal stem cell (LSC) transplantation represents an interesting regenerative measure in the fight against limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) and the loss of the corneal epithelial layer. However, given the scarcity of LSCs, researchers have sought to discover alternative strategy and now, researchers from the laboratory of Majlinda Lako (Newcastle University, UK) report on the generation of corneal epithelial cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). Interestingly, Kamarudin et al. demonstrate that different hiPSC lines displayed differential differentiation propensities due to differential activity of the endogenous BMP signaling pathway. See STEM CELLS now for all the details!

Stem Cell Therapy for Critical Limb Ischemia

Severe critical limb ischemia (CLI) currently relies on limb amputation as the only treatment option; however, many research teams hope that stem cell-based interventions may improve this unfavorable outcome. To help us wade through the pertinent data, the good people from the lab of David A. Hess (Western University, Ontario, Canada) have brought together an “Integrated Review of Pre-clinical and Clinical Studies”. See STEM CELLS now for a vital read.

That’s a wrap for now! Please feel free to leave a comment and discuss the papers covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz. Happy reading!