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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Reducing Point Mutations, Angiogenesis with Placental MSCs, Hepatic Failure and MSC-EVs, and hNPC-treatment of DLB!

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

Reducing Point Mutations during Reprogramming

The generation of point mutations during reprogramming may ultimately make induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and their progeny functionally “faulty” and/or potentially dangerous. A new Stem Cells study from the lab of Masumi Abe (National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology, Chiba, Japan) compared different means of reprogramming and Araki et al now suggest that “it is feasible to reduce the point mutation frequency in induced pluripotent stem cells by optimizing various genome-reprogramming conditions.” Great news!

How Placental MSCs Enhance Angiogenesis

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can promote angiogenesis and have shown potential in treating disorders such as Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). But just how are they doing it? The answer, in part, comes from a new Stem Cells study from the lab of Shuyang He (Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, Warren, NJ, USA). He et al suggest that human placenta-derived MSC-like cells improve blood flow and promote collateral vessel formation in hind-limb ischemia (HLI) through an immunomodulatory mechanism involving T cell-dependent reprogramming of macrophage differentiation toward M2-like phenotype.

Treating Hepatic Failure with MSC-EVs

One of the many (it seems!) ways that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can boost regeneration is through the release of extracellular vesicles (EV) laden with helpful proteins and RNAs. A new study from the lab of Tushar Patel (Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, USA) now demonstrates that MSC-EVs can reduce hepatic injury and modulate cytokine expression in a mouse model of hepatic failure. Haga et al also found that the regenerative capacity of MSC-EVS required the highly expressed Y-RNA-1 non-coding RNA. See Stem Cells Translational Medicine now for all the details.

Reducing Symptoms of DLB via hNPC Transplantation

Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with the accumulation of insoluble α-synuclein (α-syn) aggregates. An exciting new study from the laboratory of Mathew Blurton-Jones (University of California, Irvine, USA) has now established that the transplantation of clinically relevant human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) can rescue both cognitive and motor deficits associated with DLB. Get over to Stem Cells Translational Medicine now to read all about this exciting therapeutic strategy.

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!