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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Skin Radiation Effects, Combining MSCs and ECFCs, RGC Survival, and Cochlear Hair Cell Regeneration!



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

Low Dose Radiation Effects on Skin

While huge efforts have gone into understanding the aftereffects of high dose radiation (HDR), we lack a similar level of data on responses to low dose radiation (LDR). To remedy this, the lab of Panagiota A. Sotiropoulou (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium) has employed a mouse model to study the effects of LDR on skin epidermis. Their new Stem Cells study demonstrates that LDR causes DNA damage in sebaceous gland and bulge epidermal stem cells (SCs) and may represent a potent carcinogen in those predisposed to cancer.

Using MSCs to Boost Function of Transplanted ECFCs

Vasculogenesis supports the regeneration of injured tissues although the current lack of autologous and the immunogenicity of allogeneic endothelial progenitor remain problematic. To remedy this problem, researchers from the lab of Martina Seifert (Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany) have investigated co-transplantation of endothelial colony-forming progenitor cells (ECFCs) with mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells (MSCs) which display potent immunosuppressive capabilities. Their Stem Cells study now demonstrates that cotransplantation can lower the risk of ECFC rejection and so this strategy may be of use for therapeutic vasculogenesis.

Promoting RGC Survival with MSC Exosomes

Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) receive visual information from photoreceptors and their loss is a leading cause of blindness. Animal model systems have shown that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) may protect and help RGC regeneration and so Ben Mead and Stanislav Tomarev set out to test one important paracrine factor excreted by MSCs: exosomes! Their new Stem Cells Translational Medicine study demonstrates that MSC-exosomes promoted survival and regeneration and that this improvement required the presence of microRNA. Could this represent a new cell-free treatment for RGC-associated visual loss?

Reviewing Cochlear Hair Cell Regeneration

The loss of cochlear hair cells leads to a loss in neurosensory hearing and currently lacks from treatment options given the lack of observed regeneration. Yet, some mouse studies suggest that early postnatal mice do retain progenitor-like cells which contribute to regeneration and so, Bénédicte Franco and Brigitte Malgrange bring us a new review concisely reporting the molecular mechanisms involved. Could new studies of said pathways lead to a regenerative therapy approach for adult hearing loss? Get over to Stem Cells and find out!

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!