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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - NSC-mediated PD Brain Rejuvenation, Kidney Stem Cell Perspective, Hypoxia Mimetic for MSCs, and Engineered Adenosine-releasing Neurons!

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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!

Rejuvenation of the Parkinson's Disease Brain by Grafted NSCs

A new study from the labs of Stefano Pluchino (University of Cambridge, UK) and Bianca Marchetti (University of Catania, Italy) sought to test the ability of neural stem cell (NSC) grafts to “rejuvenate” the regions of the brain affected by Parkinson’s disease. L'Episcopo et al. discovered that NSCs restored nigrostriatal functionality and that graft‐derived astrocytes and Wnt/β‐catenin signaling modulated the activity of endogenous astrocytes and the innate immune response. The authors suggest that this STEM CELLS study may have therapeutic implications for dopaminergic (mDA) neurons restoration in aged Parkinson’s disease brain.

Therapeutic Potential of Kidney c-Kit+ Cells

Many studies have proposed c-Kit-positive cells as putative stem cells or precursors within the kidney and a new Perspective article from Erika B. Rangel (Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, São Paulo, Brazil) provides an excellent overview of the field. For all about their progenitor/stem cell properties, kidney regeneration mechanisms, and possible future studies concerning C-Kit positive cells, see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now!

Desferrioxamine Treatment as a Hypoxia Mimetic for MSCs

The hypoxic culture of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be expensive and difficult to perform, and so researchers from the lab of Taro Takami (Yamaguchi University, Japan) set out to determine the effectiveness of desferrioxamine (DFO), a hypoxia‐mimetic reagent, as an alternative strategy. Metabolome analysis by Fujisawa et al. highlighted similar metabolite patterns, except purine, pyrimidine, and TCA cycle related metabolites, in hypoxia-treated and DFO-treated MSCs, suggesting that DFO treatment might represent a potential substitute for hypoxic culturing. See STEM CELLS now for all the details.

Human Neurons with High Adenosine Release

While adenosine treatment can provide neuroprotection as part of treatment strategies for a range of indications, systemic administration causes many unwanted side effects. To solve this problem researchers from the groups of Oliver Brüstle (University of Bonn) and Philipp Koch (University of Heidelberg, Germany) have engineered human embryonic stem cell-derived neuroepithelial stem cell so that their progeny (neurons and astrocytes) overexpress adenosine. Excitingly, the neurons displayed an excitation-mediated release of adenosine, suggesting their potential therapeutic utility for the local “on‐demand” delivery to treat conditions, such as epilepsy. Head over to STEM CELLS Translational Medicine 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!