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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Treating Ischemic Retinopathies, Anti-tumor Immune Cells, MSC Rejection Trial, and Huntington's Disease!

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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!

Optimizing ECFC Treatment of Ischemic Retinopathies

Endothelial colony-forming cells (ECFCs) promote vascular repair and regeneration of the ischemic retina, although the application of this strategy to human patients will require extensive preclinical testing. A recent report from the lab of Reinhold J. Medina (Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom) establishes that systemic or intravitreal administration of an appropriate dose of ECFCs confers therapeutic benefit without eliciting an immune response or toxicity. See STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now to see how this study provides excellent preclinical evidence for ECFC treatment of ischemic retinopathies.

Generating iPSCs from Anti-tumor Immune Cells for Immunotherapy

A small proportion of lymphocytes in the peripheral blood known as γδT cells exert potent anti-tumor activity; however, ex vivo expansion to the large numbers required for therapy leads to a loss in effectiveness. As a means to get around this vexing problem, researchers from the laboratory of Takashi Aoi (Kobe University, Japan) have generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from stimulated γδT cells in human peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) culture. Resultant γδT-iPSCs displayed rearrangements at the TCRG and TCRD gene locus and demonstrated the ability to differentiate into hematopoietic progenitors. See STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now to see how this strategy could pave the way toward novel immunotherapy treatments.

MSC Pilot Trial for Acute Liver Allograft Rejection

A STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study from Ming Shi and Fu-Sheng Wang (Beijing 302 Hospital, PR China) has recently reported the findings of a trial of umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cell (UC-MSC) therapy in liver transplant patients with acute graft rejection. Encouragingly, the results suggest that “UC-MSC infusion for acute graft rejection following liver transplantation is feasible and may mediate a therapeutic immunosuppressive effect.” Great news!

Stem Cells and Huntington's Disease

A new review article from Bronwen Connor (University of Auckland, New Zealand) in STEM CELLS aims to highlight the potential for stem cell-based therapeutics for Huntington's disease (HD). This review covers compensatory neurogenesis, cell replacement therapies, and cell reprogramming to model and treat the disease and aims to delineate potential gaps in knowledge and identify future directions. Sounds like a fascinating read!

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!