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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Kidney Generation with hPSCs, hPSC Hematopoietic Differentiation, LeX-SSEA1 in NSCs, and Allogeneic ASCs for Heart Disease!

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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!

Reviewing Kidney Generation with hPSCs

Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) represent attractive sources for kidney regenerative therapies and a recent review from the labs of Ryuji Morizane and Joseph V. Bonventre (Harvard Institute of Medicine, Boston, USA) aimed to summarize recent studies. These include efforts to induce nephron progenitor cells (NPCs) and kidney cells from hPSCs, and to expand NPCs from both mouse and human embryonic kidneys. Furthermore, the authors discuss possible in vivo cell therapy approaches to regenerate kidneys and the development of bioengineered kidneys. See STEM CELLS now for a fascinating read.

RUNX1c-mediated Control of hPSC Hematopoietic Differentiation

Researchers from the labs of Pablo Menendez (Barcelona University, Spain) and Pedro J. Real (Universidad de Granada, Spain) have recently employed human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) as a model to study roles for the master hematopoietic transcription factor RUNX1 in human embryonic hematopoiesis. In their new STEM CELLS study, Navarro-Montero et al. describe how RUNX1c orchestrates hematopoietic specification of hPSCs, possibly in cooperation with pro-inflammatory signaling. Sounds like exciting reading!

Exploring LeX-SSEA1 in NSCs

The carbohydrate LeX-SSEA1 acts as a cell surface marker for neural stem cells (NSCs); but what is the biological significance of LeX-SSEA1? Research from the team of Francesca Ciccolini (University of Heidelberg, Germany) now demonstrate that surface expression of LeXSSEA1 inversely correlates with proliferative ability, high LeX-SSEA1 levels correlate with quiescence, and that bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) promotes LeX-SSEA1 expression. Overall, this new STEM CELLS study suggests that increased expression of LeX-SSEA1 at the cell surface promotes quiescence in NSCs.

Safety Study of Allogeneic ASCs for Ischemic Heart Disease and Heart Failure

A new report from STEM CELLS Translational Medicine describes the results from a recent first-in-human clinical trial evaluating the safety and feasibility of intramyocardial injection of cryopreserved allogeneic adipose-derived stromal cells (ASCs) for the treatment of ischemic heart disease and ischemic heart failure (IHF). The report, from Jens Kastrup (Rigshospitalet University of Copenhagen, Denmark), concludes that the procedure was both safe and feasible with a tendency towards efficacy. The team hopes to confirm these encouraging results in larger placebo controlled clinical trials.

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!