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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Stem Cell-Derived Exosomes, MSC Therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis, Long-term Starvation of MSCs, and Cartilage Endplate Degeneration!

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!

Stem Cell-Derived Exosomes Alleviate Aging Traits

As previous studies discovered that extracellular vesicles (EVs) secreted by human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) play roles in tissue repair and regeneration, researchers led by Linzhao Cheng and Vasiliki Mahairaki (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA) examined EVS derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) cultured in chemically defined medium free of any exogenous EVs. Interestingly, Liu et al. discovered that iPSCs generated more EVs than MSCs and that purified iPSC-EVS could reduce cellular reactive oxygen species levels and alleviate the aging phenotypes of senescent MSCs. For more on how iPSC-EVs may be employed to reverse the aging process, see STEM CELLS now!

Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Knee Osteoarthritis

A new article from the lab of Kang‐Il Kim (Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Seoul, South Korea) reports the findings from a prospective double‐blinded, randomized controlled, phase IIb clinical trial of an intra‐articular injection of autologous adipose‐derived mesenchymal stem cells (AD‐MSCs) for knee osteoarthritis. Encouragingly, Lee et al. report satisfactory functional improvement and pain relief for patients with knee osteoarthritis without causing apparent adverse events at six months' follow‐up. The authors now hope to organize trials with larger sample size and long‐term follow‐up. See STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now for all the details.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells Long-term Starvation: Survival/Adaptation and Selective Processes

As mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) face a microenvironment characterized by nutrient deprivation and reduced oxygen tension following transplantation, researchers from the lab of Federico Ferro (National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland) sought to understand the survival/adaptive response mechanism that MSCs use. The authors studied long-term survival of bone marrow MSCs cultured in a chemically defined medium either in hypoxic or normoxic conditions. This survival mode involved a quiescent state, employed Jak/STAT anti‐apoptotic activity to select which cells conserved stemness and supported metabolic, bioenergetic, and scavenging requirements, and employed induced lipid β‐oxidation as an alternative energy source. The authors of this new STEM CELLS article hope these findings will help to increase MSC survival when transplanted in vivo.

Nrf2 Alleviates Cartilage Endplate Degeneration

Cartilage endplate (CEP) calcification inhibits the transport of metabolites and nutrients in the intervertebral disc and is a critical initiating factor of intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD). To discover the mechanisms controlling IDD, researchers from the labs of Yue Zhou, Liu Minghan, and Zhang Chao (Army Military Medical University, Chongqing, PR China)established a mouse CEP degeneration model. Rui et al. now report that rapamycin activated autophagy could protect CEP from inflammation-induced degeneration, promote the expression of antioxidant proteins, reduce cell senescence, and maintain the differentiation potential of cartilage endplate stem cells (CESCs). Finally, the authors note the general importance of Nrf2/Keap1 signaling to this effect. For more on this exciting new study, head over to STEM CELLS now!

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!