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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - TNF-mediated Stem Cell Fusion, FSTL3-mediated Endothelial Cell Function and Angiogenesis, Definitive Hematopoiesis in iPSCs, and Islet Protection by BMSCs!

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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!

Tumor Necrosis Factor Signaling Contributes to Stem Cell Fusion

The fusion of normal and tumorigenic breast epithelial cells with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can lead to the creation of a new cancer cell type. To unravel the mechanisms controlling this process, researchers from the lab of Ralf Hass (Hannover Medical School, Germany) investigated the potential role of Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) and receptor downstream signaling. Melzer et al. report that the tumor-associated pro‐inflammatory cytokine Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF‐α) can stimulate the in vitro fusion of MSCs and MCF10A breast epithelial cells, thereby contributing to tumor heterogeneity via new hybrid cell formation exhibiting altered properties. Head over to STEM CELLS now for all the details.

Follistatin‐Like 3 enhances iPSC-derived Endothelial Cell Function and Angiogenesis

Endothelial cells (ECs) derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) may provide for the vast numbers of patient-specific cells required for therapeutic applications. Now, researchers from the laboratory of Andriana Margariti (Queen's University Belfast, UK) report that Follistatin‐Like 3 (FSTL3) expression enhances the functionality and maturity of iPSC-ECs by facilitating β‐catenin nuclear translocation and the inhibition of GSK3β activity and Endothelin‐1 induction. Kelaini et al. hope that FSTL3 overexpression may represent an exciting new means to generate therapeutically-relevant numbers of highly functional cells. Head on over to STEM CELLS now for more on this new study.

Definitive Hematopoiesis in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

A new study from the lab of George J. Murphy (Boston University School of Medicine, USA) has recently reported a chemically-defined, serum- and feeder‐free directed differentiation approach to produce hematopoietic stem‐progenitor cells (HSPCs) and adult‐type progeny from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Leung et al. also established the stage‐specific roles for Notch and the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AHR) signaling to hematopoietic progenitor development and the production of downstream definitive, adult‐type erythroblasts. For more details on this promising new advance, see STEM CELLS now!

BMSCs Protect Islets against Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress‐induced Apoptosis

A new study from the labs of Nianqiao Gong and Weijie Zhang (Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China) sought to investigate how bone marrow‐derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) promote favorable outcomes of islet transplantation. He et al. now report that BMSCs protect grafted islets against endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS)‐induced apoptosis during early stages after transplantation, a finding that may provide a new arena for development for therapies aiming to improve outcomes of islet transplantation. See STEM CELLS now 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!