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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - MSC Stemness, MSCs in Osteoarthritis, Diaphragmatic Muscle Constructs, and Shh Distribution!

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!

TSG-6 Controls Mesenchymal Stem Cell Stemness

Studies have found that the potent tissue‐protective and anti‐inflammatory factor TSG‐6 plays a crucial role in the wound healing abilities of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), although we have limited knowledge on the specific role of this highly interesting protein. Now, researchers from the laboratory of Stefania Vetrano (Humanitas University, Milan, Italy) report that TSG‐6 acts as an autocrine factor to regulate morphology and MSC cellular processes and is crucial for the maintenance of stemness and biological properties. Romano et al. also show that TSG‐6 loss abrogates immunomodulation and stemness and promotes a more pro‐tumorigenic phenotype. Could TSG‐6 be used as a predictive marker to monitor the effects of MSC‐based therapies? Head over to STEM CELLS now to find out more.

New Mesenchymal Stem Cell Trial for Knee Osteoarthritis

The encouraging results of a new clinical trial of bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BM‐MSCs) for knee osteoarthritis have recently been published in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine. This phase I/IIa trial from the laboratory of Sowmya Viswanathan (University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) assessed safety and efficacy using a broad toolset of analytical methods. Chahal et al. report that autologous BM‐MSCs are safe and treatment results in significant improvements in patient‐reported outcome measures at 12 months, which the authors link to a reduction in the inflammatory nature of the synovial fluid and cartilage degradation. Overall, the authors suggest that their analytical tools will provide a highly predictive donor selection criterion that will be critical in translating MSC therapies for osteoarthritis.


Generation of Diaphragmatic Muscle Constructs

Researchers led by Martina Piccoli and Michela Pozzobon (Istituto di Ricerca Pediatrica Città della Speranza, Padova, Italy) recently reported on their continuing efforts to develop a cellular skeletal muscle construct with functional features through the application of mouse decellularized diaphragmatic extracellular matrix (ECM). Using a decellularized matrix stored under different conditions to mimic the off‐the‐shelf clinical need, the authors demonstrated how seeding the decellularized scaffold with pediatric human muscle precursors gave rise to a functioning three‐dimensional skeletal muscle structure. Interestingly, Trevisan et al. also demonstrated that the engineered construct activated a regenerative response in vitro promoting cell self‐renewal and positive ECM remodeling. For more on this fascinating subject, head over to Stem Cells Translational Medicine now!

Gpc5 Inhibits Sonic Hedgehog Distribution in Embryonic Stem Cells

Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) is a signaling molecule that functions over several cell diameters and recent research led by Wei Guo and Henk Roelink (University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA) employed mosaic neural organoids formed of genetically distinct cells to assess the requirement of heparan sulfate proteoglycans exclusively in the Shh-producing cells, the Shh‐transporting cells, and the cells responding to Shh. Overall, the duo now demonstrate that heparan sulfate-modified Glypican5, a component of the extracellular matrix, inhibits Shh transport, thus providing an elegant explanation for why Glypican5 is a tumor suppressor. Make your way over to STEM CELLS now for all the fine print.

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!