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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Targeting Epithelial CSCs, MAPCs Enhance Recovery from Stroke, Selective MuSC Culture, and Stem Cell Treatment of Arrhythmias!

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

Targeting Epithelial CSCs: A Review

The ability to selective target cancer stem cells (CSCs) may provide a means to effectively tackle many different types of cancer. A new review article from the lab of Abdolrahman S. Nateri (University of Nottingham, UK) brings together all current thinking on drugs that can target CSCs associated with epithelial cancers. See Stem Cells now for all the pertinent information on an exciting field!

Immune Modulation by MAPCs Enhances Recovery from Stroke

In addition to microenvironmental alterations, stem cell transfusions also generate systemic immune responses. The team of Sean I. Savitz (McGovern Medical School at UT-Health, Houston, Texas, USA) aimed to discover the consequence of this immune modulation during human multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPC) treatment of ischemic stroke. Yang et al discovered that MAPC treatment modified spleen-derived immune responses and thereby promoted a pro-regenerative environment for the brain to recover from stroke. See Stem Cells for all the fine print.

Selective Culture of Skeletal Muscle Stem Cells

In order to be applied as a regenerative treatment for muscle diseases/disorders, pure populations of muscle stem cells (MuSCs) must first be purified from muscle biopsies. To help this regenerative strategy, the lab of Wen-Shu Wu (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA) have devised a simple selective expansion methodology employing a soft three-dimensional salmon fibrin gel culture system. This new simple system forgoes any type of sorting (expensive and often detrimental to the cells) and provides a pure population of cells with great potential for the treatment of muscular disorders. See Stem Cells Translational Medicine for all the details on this new technique.

Transendocardial stem cell injection in ICM: What about Arrhythmias?

A recent Stem Cells Translational Medicine study from the lab of Raul D. Mitrani (University of Miami Hospital, Florida, USA) sought to examine arrhythmic effects from transendocardial injection of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM). Through analysis of data from two prospective, randomized controlled trials (POSEIDON and TAC-HFT), Ramireddy et al found no evidence for pro-arrhythmia with MSC implantation but did observe a trend linking MSC transplantation with an improvement of arrhythmias.

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!