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Highlights of current exciting developments, ranging from research papers to court decisions to industry regulations

August 13, 2018

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!

Past Buzz

August 10,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - P2X7 and Adult Neurogenesis, Perivascular Stem Cell Precursors, Cellular Therapeutics and Clot Formation, and MSC-Based Drug Delivery Review!

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!

Functional roles of P2X7 during adult neurogenesis

New research from the labs of Michael W Weible II (Griffith University, Nathan, Australia) and Ben J. Gu (University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia) sought to uncover possible roles of the multifunctional P2X7 receptors in adult neurogenesis. Via the analysis of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) derived from adult murine hippocampal subgranular (SGZ) and cerebral subventricular (SVZ) zones, Leeson et al. report that P2X7 receptors can form transmembrane pores leading to cell death, regulate rates of proliferation via calcium signaling, and function as scavenger receptors in the absence of ATP, allowing NPCs to phagocytose apoptotic NPCs during neurogenesis. See STEM CELLS now for more details.

Perivascular Stem Cell Precursors

While pericytes act as precursors of resident adult stem cells in stromal tissues in vivo, pericytes expanded in vitro display a more extensive multi‐lineage differentiation potential. Val Yianni and Paul T Sharpe (Kings College London, London, UK) sought to discover why this occurs in a recent STEM CELLS study. Overall, their fascinating transcriptomic and epigenomic study suggests that pericyte populations derived from mouse incisors and bone marrow are molecularly obstructed from differentiating down specific lineages in vivo.

Cellular Therapeutics Accelerate Clot Formation

for all the fine print.

Reviewing Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Based Drug Delivery

The clinical potential for mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs)‐based therapies and synthetic biology approaches, in general, continues to build, with more and more of said approaches undergoing evaluation in the clinic. However, a new review from the lab of W. Nathaniel Brennen (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA) hopes to serve as a “sobering reminder” that MSCs display broad biodistribution and poor homing efficiency to most target tissues observed employing current methodologies. Therefore, Krueger et al. suggest that enhanced targeting strategies to potentiate efficient and effective clinical translation of these strategies are much required! To read more on this fascinating area, click your way to STEM CELLS Translational Medicine 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!

August 6,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - MSCs in Multiple Sclerosis, Unproven Stem Cell Interventions, ASCs in Endotoxemia, and Collagen-mediated Immune Dysfunction!

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!

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Antioxidant Responses in Multiple Sclerosis

A previous study from the lab of Claire M. Rice (University of Bristol, United Kingdom) highlighted the reduced neuroprotective potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Now, Redondo et al. demonstrate that MS-MSCs display increased susceptibility to nitrosative stress and reduced expression, activity, and secretion of critical antioxidants. The authors hope that returning the dysregulated antioxidant responses to those displayed by healthy MSCs may return the lost neuroprotective potential; see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine to discover more.

The Use of Unproven Stem Cell Interventions

A new review article from the lab of Mohamed Abou‐El‐Enein (BCRT, Berlin, Germany) recently set out to compile scientific publications, clinical case reports, and mass media publications to assess reported cases and safety incidents associated with unproven stem cell interventions (SCI). Bauer et al. hope that their efforts will help to shed new light on the magnitude and pervasiveness of such critical situations, which may pose a serious risk to vulnerable patient populations and also dilute the value of ethical and legitimate therapies currently being developed for patients through rigorous preclinical and clinical testing. For a fascinating insight into this area, head over to STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now!

Adipose-derived Stem Cells in Human Endotoxemia

To explore the application of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) in the treatment of sepsis, researchers led by Desirée Perlee (Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) assessed responses of healthy patients to ASC infusions following injections of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). This new study established the tolerability of ASC infusion and demonstrated time-dependent proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory effects and mild procoagulant features in the high-dose cohort. For all the details, see STEM CELLS now!

Collagen-mediated Immune Dysfunction

To study the impact of the trabecular extracellular matrix (ECM) of the bone marrow on hematopoiesis, researchers from the lab of Bent Brachvogel (University of Cologne, Germany) assessed the consequences of collagen IX alpha1 knockout in model mice. Probst et al. discovered that the loss of collagen IX alpha1 destabilized the trabecular bone network, impaired myeloid cell differentiation, and affected the innate immune response when challenged with Listeria moncytogenes. 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!

August 3,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Urine-derived Endothelial Cells, Micro-Fragmented Adipose Tissue, CD34+ Cell Transplantation for CLI, and Small Molecule-Mediated Stem Cell Differentiation!

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!

Functional Endothelial Cells Induced from Urine-derived Stem Cells

As a means to generate sufficient numbers of autologous endothelial cells (ECs), researchers from the lab of Yuanyuan Zhang (Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston‐Salem, NC, USA) recently assessed the differentiation potential of urine-derived stem cells (USCs) that originate from the kidney glomeruli. Reporting in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, Liu et al. reveal that the directed differentiation of USCs permits the generation of cells (USC-ECs) with endothelial morphology, ultrastructure, and functional marker expression that display endothelial-like function during in vitro analysis and expressed high levels of endothelial markers following grafting in vivo. The authors propose USC-ECs as a low-cost and easy-to-obtain source of autologous cells for applications in tissue-engineered vascular regeneration or the repair of endothelial dysfunction.

Micro-Fragmented Adipose Tissue in Dogs with Osteoarthritis

A recent study led by Offer Zeira (San Michele Veterinary Hospital, Tavazzano con Villavesco, Italy) sought to assess the potential for single intra‐articular injection of autologous and micro‐fragmented adipose tissue (MFAT) as a treatment for osteoarthritis (OA) in a dog model. Their findings, reported in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, establish that this time sparing, cost‐effective, minimally invasive, and one‐step procedure provides long-lasting successful results without any noted complications. The authors now hope to propel this exciting new treatment option to trials in human patients.

CD34+ Cell Transplantation for Hemodialysis Patients with Critical Limb Ischemia

As a means to treat critical limb ischemia (CLI) in patients undergoing hemodialysis (HD), researchers from the lab of Takayasu Ohtake (Shonan Kamakura General Hospital, Okamoto, Kamakura, Japan) recently conducted a phase II clinical trial of granulocyte colony‐stimulating factor (G‐CSF)‐mobilized peripheral blood‐derived autologous purified CD34 positive (CD34+) cell transplantation in a small number of patients. Wow, that’s a mouthful!  Encouragingly, this new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study established the highly effective nature of this approach and highlighted the lack of major adverse events. Great news!

Small Molecule-Induced Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Differentiation

Finally, researchers from the labs of Christina L. L. Chai (National University of Singapore) and Steve K. W. Oh (A*STAR, Singapore) report on their search for novel small molecules (novel synthetic tri‐substituted imidazoles (TIs)) that promote cardiac differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). Zhong et al. report that several TIs promoted differentiation, but functioned via ALK5 of the TGFβ pathway rather than the expected Wnt/β‐catenin pathway. Overall, this STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study establishes a new means to promote both cardiac and neural differentiation from hPSCs.

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!

July 23,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Astrocytic Gene Hydroxymethylation, Facilitating Cells, Megakaryocyte-induced Myeloproliferation, and a Regenerative Medicine Roadmap!

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!

DNA Hydroxymethylation of Astrocytic Genes in Neural Stem Cells

Following studies that indicated that vitamin C promotes DNA hydroxymethylation and transcription of dopamine neuron‐specific genes and the differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs) into dopamine neurons, researchers from the labs of Sang‐Hun Lee (Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea) and Seon‐Young Kim (KRIBB, Daejeon, South Korea) set out to discover more. Kim et al. now describe how vitamin C promotes the DNA hydroxymethylation and transcription of astrocyte‐specific genes and astrocyte differentiation and so may be essential to astrocytogenesis during brain development. See STEM CELLS now for more details.

The Role of Flt3-ligand in the p‐preDC FC Subpopulation

Facilitating cells (FC), which resemble plasmacytoid precursor dendritic cells (p‐preDC), enhance engraftment of purified hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and induce antigen‐specific regulatory T cells (Treg) in vivo. The lab of Suzanne T. Ildstad (University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA) now reports the Flt3‐ligand as a critical growth factor in the development and homeostasis of p‐preDC FC and the generation of Treg. Huang et al. suggest that the Flt3‐ligand provides potent immunoregulatory properties that may be clinically useful to improve tolerance induction and enhance the function of allogeneic cell therapies. Head over to STEM CELLS now for a deeper dive into this new study.

Mutation-carrying Megakaryocyte-induced Myeloproliferation

Researchers from the lab of Huichun Zhan (Stony Brook School of Medicine, NY, USA) recently sought to discover how the acquired kinase mutation JAK2V617F promotes hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell (HSPC) expansion and overproduction of mature blood cells in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). Zhang et al. now report that JAK2V617F‐bearing megakaryocytes induce HSPC quiescence with increased repopulating capacity via thrombopoietin and its receptor MPL. The authors suggest that targeting HSPC niche‐forming megakaryocytes and their interactions within the vascular niche could provide a novel and effective therapeutic strategy in patients with MPNs. See STEM CELLS now for more!

Roadmap for Manufacturing in Regenerative Medicine

A new Perspective article from Joshua G. Hunsberger, Thomas Shupe, and Anthony Atala (Wake Forest University, Winston‐Salem, NC, USA) in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine details on the achievement of a “roadmap” to provide the access for those in need to regenerative medicine therapies, both within the United States and around the World. The authors hope that technical advancements in the seven clinical manufacturing impact areas will accelerate clinical translation of regenerative medicine‐based therapies, and facilitate the scale‐up in clinical manufacturing capacity required for deployment of these therapies to the vast number of patients that would benefit from them.

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!

July 20,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – The Adaptive Mesenchymal Niche, iPSC-derived Retinal Organoids, Blind Mole Rat ASCs, and Splicing in Myeloid Malignancies!

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!

Distinct Effects of Adaptive Mesenchymal Niches

Employing a 5‐fluorouracil-induced niche stimulation model, researchers led by Il‐Hoan Oh (Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea) set out to characterize the dynamic adaptation of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche cells to changes in physiological stimulatory signals. Jeong et al. describe how stimulation induces the rapid non-mitotic conversion of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) into primitive niche-like cells employed to initiate HSC regeneration. Furthermore, this adaptive niche remodeling exerts a pro-normal/anti-leukemic effect to counteract self-reinforcing pro-leukemic changes. For more information, head over to STEM CELLS now!

Generating Light Responsive Retinal Organoids from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

The ability to create functional and light‐responsive retinal organoids from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) represents a significant hurdle to the generation of in vitro models of the human retina. However, researchers from the lab of Majlinda Lako (Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) recently demonstrated the production of light-responsive iPSC‐derived retinal organoids in a process dependent on seeding cell density and nutrient availability. Additionally, the adaptation of this protocol to a multiwell plate format permitted the production of organoids containing retinal-pigmented epithelium and improved ganglion cell development and response to physiological stimuli. See STEM CELLS now for all the fine print.

Reduced Motility of Blind Mole Rat Adipose Stem Cells Counteract Cancer

A fascinating new study from Irena Manov (University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel) has recently suggested that altered adipose-derived stem cell (ASC) motility may be behind differential cancer rates in blind mole rats (Spalax) and rats (Rattus). Mamchur et al. suggest that the lower motility rate of Spalax ASCs inhibits their migration towards tumor cells to support tumorigenic support development, angiogenesis, and tumor growth as occurs with Rattus ASCs. The authors of this new STEM CELLS study hope that their findings may lead to the development of a new cancer‐preventive strategy in humans.

Splicing Gene Mutations in Myeloid Malignancies

The high incidence of mutations in splicing factors in early hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) of patients with myeloid malignancies prompted researchers from the lab of Shalini Sharma (University of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ, USA) to investigate mechanisms of transformation. Now, Bapat et al. report in STEM CELLS that mutations in the SRSF2 and U2AF1 lead to cell context‐specific effects and that the generation of myeloid disease phenotype by mutations in the genes coding these two proteins likely involves different intracellular mechanisms.

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!

July 16,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - MSC-derived Osteosarcomas, Stem Cell Licensing Renewal, 3D Retinal Tissue Generation, and iPSC Haplobanking!

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!

Role of the AP‐1 Complex in MSC-derived Osteosarcomas

A recent STEM CELLS study from the lab of Javier García‐Castro (Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain) sought to confirm mouse based studies that indicated an uncommitted mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) developing in a specific bone microenvironment as the tumor‐initiating cell in osteosarcoma. Now, Gambera et al. demonstrate that expression of AP‐1 family members, such as c‐JUN or c‐JUN/c‐FOS, act as tumorigenic factors in immortalized hMSC and induce osteosarcomagenesis with fibroblastic or pleomorphic osteoblastic phenotypes, respectively.

Licensing Renewal of Adult Stem Cells

Researchers led by Patrik Ernfors (Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden) recently took a step forward in the understanding of adult neurogenesis and adult neural stem cell (NSC) homeostasis. Blanchart et al. describe how the DNA methylation adapter UHRF1 regulates the proliferation of active, but not quiescent, adult neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and plays a crucial role in licensing replication re‐entry. For more on how DNA methylation adapter may control stem cell self‐renewal and neurogenesis in the adult brain, see STEM CELLS now!

An Effective 3D Retinal Tissue Generating System

The inability of some human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) lines to undergo efficient retinal differentiation currently hampers the generation of three‐dimensional (3D) retinal tissue for drug screening and patient‐specific retinal cell replacement therapy. However, a new STEM CELLS study from Jian Ge (Sun Yat‐sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China) now established that supplementation with the Wnt signaling pathway antagonist Dickkopf‐related protein 1 (DKK‐1) can boost the production of well-organized, maturing retinal tissues by promoting differentiated retinal progenitors to self‐organize. Is a little DKK-1 sufficient for a significant boost in this research area?

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Haplobanking and its Usefulness

The significant time and labor costs associated with patient-specific human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) generation have led researchers to suggest that human leukocyte antigen (HLA) haplotype homozygous donors may represent an improved means to provide matched iPSC derivatives to patients. Researchers led by Jihwan Song (CHA University, Gyeonggi‐do, Korea) screened cord blood samples and selected those homozygous for the ten most frequent HLA‐A, ‐B, ‐DRB1 haplotypes in the Korean population. Excitingly, Lee et al. report that these ten iPSC lines match around 41% of the Korean population and that they may find significant use in other Asian populations, such as Japan, as well as ethnically diverse populations, such as the UK. For more on this fascinating study, see 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!

July 4,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Proteoglycan Morphogenetic Markers, ESC PTM Regulation by LRRN1, Runx1-mediated Cell Proliferation, and Preconditioned MSCs for Bone Repair!

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!

Proteoglycans as Morphogenetic Markers of Tissue Development

A new review article from the lab of James Melrose (Royal North Shore Hospital and University of Sydney, St. Leonards, NSW, Australia) brings an update on the importance of surface chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans in stem cells. Hayes et al. describe how cell surface proteoglycans can provide valuable information on pluripotency and differentiation potential of various stem cells and how they can also be employed to monitor tissue morphogenetic changes in development and tissue repair. For more information, read all the details at STEM CELLS.

LRRN1 Regulates ESCs via Pluripotency Factor PTMs

Continuing with glycoproteins, new research led by John Yu (Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou, Taoyuan, Taiwan) recently discovered the abundant expression of a surface glycoprotein, leucine‐rich repeat neuronal protein 1 (LRRN1), on self-renewing human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Liao et al. now report that LRRN1 may help to maintain the stability of pluripotency factors such as OCT4, NANOG, and SOX2 via post-translational modifications, thus maintaining hESC self‐renewal capacity and pluripotency. For more details on LRRN1, head over to STEM CELLS now!

A Lipidic Role of Runx1 in Epithelial and Cancer Cell Proliferation

A new study from the lab of Tudorita Tumbar (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA) recently sought to discern the role of lipid metabolism in epithelial stem cell (SC) function and carcinogenesis. Interestingly, Jain et al. discovered that the epithelial stem cell- and cancer-associated factor Runx1 controlled the expression of the Scd1 and Soat1 lipid metabolism-associated genes. This mediated the control of fatty acid production to subsequently modulate membrane organization and facilitate signal transduction for rapid proliferation of both normal and cancer epithelial cells. For more on this exciting new study, see STEM CELLS now!

Hypoxic Preconditioning of MSCs for Bone Repair

Both hypoxic preconditioning and spheroidal aggregation promote mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) survival, engraftment, and therapeutic potential for musculoskeletal tissue repair. Researchers from the lab of J. Kent Leach (University of California, Davis, California, USA) recently tested the effects of the combined hypoxic preconditioning of MSCs grown as spheroids for bone repair. Reporting in STEM CELLS, Ho et al. now demonstrate that MSCs cultivated in this manner displayed the greatest osteogenic potential in vitro and enhanced bone healing following transplantation into rat critical‐sized femoral segmental defects. Overall, this suggests that hypoxic preconditioning combined with spheroid growth may represent a simple approach to improve MSC-based bone healing.

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!

June 11,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - ESRP1 and Pluripotency, DNA Damage and iPSCs, Prokineticin and Epicardial Stemness, and Age-Related Clonal Hematopoiesis!

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!

ESRP1 as a Key Regulator of Human Pluripotency

A recent study from the lab of Yee Sook Cho (Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Daejeon, Republic of Korea) sought to fully appreciate the link between epithelial splicing regulatory protein 1 (ESRP1) expression and human pluripotency. Interestingly, Kim et al. discovered the specific expression of only specific ESRP1 isoforms in pluripotent stem cells controlled the isoform-specific expression of the cell surface protein CD44. For more on this exciting new finding, see STEM CELLS now!

High Gamma-H2AX Associates with Replication in iPSCs

Researchers from the lab of Deborah A. Hursh (United States Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD, USA) recently reported that the rapid replication of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) leads to the appearance of increased basal levels of gamma-H2AX, a marker of DNA damage. Interestingly, DNA damage is lower in original donor fibroblasts and iPSC-derived mesenchymal stem cells. Vallabhaneni et al. hope that their results, published in STEM CELLS, will aid in the understanding of factors that contribute to the safety of iPSCs in clinical applications.

Prokineticin and Human Epicardial Cell Stemness

Human epicardium‐derived progenitor cells (hEPDCs) may give rise to epicardial adipose tissues and vascular tissues in the developing and injured heart. New research led by Canan G. Nebigil (University of Strasbourg, CNRS (UMR 7242), France) now suggests that the angiogenic hormone Prokineticin controls anti‐adipogenic and pro‐vasculogenic differentiations of hEPDCs via an epigenetic “switch”. Qureshi et al. suggest that their findings may pave the way for innovative new treatments for heart failure; see the full article at STEM CELLS now to find out!

Reviewing Age-Related Clonal Hematopoiesis

A recent review article from Lambert Busque (Hôpital Maisonneuve‐Rosemont, Montréal, Québec, Canada) discusses the recent characterization of clonal hematopoiesis in a large segment of the aging population, a finding that has raised tremendous interest and concern. Studies have documented mutations in genes associated with hematological cancers, and although these individuals maintained blood cell production, a minority will progress to hematologic malignancies. For this reason, the risk factors for progression must be identified, with clonal hematopoiesis offering an opportunity to understand the biology and adaptation mechanisms of aging and mechanisms of malignant transformation. See STEM CELLS for the full story.

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!

June 4,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - LSC Pigmentation and Stemness, ASC-treatment of Rotator cuff Disease, Genome-editing of Aniridia‐related Keratopathy, and Current Understanding and Prostate CSCs!

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!

Pigmentation and Stemness in Limbal Stem Cell Cultures

To aid in the identification of early human limbal epithelial stem cells (hLESCs), researchers from the lab of Vladimir Zachar (Aalborg University, Denmark) recently sought to assess the utility of tumor protein p63 (p63) and ATP binding cassette subfamily B member 5 (ABCB5) as markers. In a new STEM CELLS study, Liu et al. now report that p63, but not ABCB5, predicts the immaturity of hLESCs and reveal a link between stemness with pigmentation. The authors hope that these finding will aid help to enhance the ex vivo culture of hLESCs employed to treat human limbal stem cell deficiency.

Adipose-derived Stem Cell Injections for Rotator cuff Disease

A recent study led by Chris H. Jo (Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea) aimed to discover the potential utility of intratendinous injection of autologous adipose-tissue-derived MSCs (ASCs) in patients with rotator cuff disease, a leading cause of shoulder pain. Jo et al. have now established the feasibility, safety, and effectiveness of this approach and report some evidence of tendon defect regeneration in the absence of surgical interventions. Overall, the authors of this new STEM CELLS study hope to create a paradigm shift from surgery to stem cells in patients suffering from this condition.

Genome-editing of Aniridia‐related Keratopathy and Rescue

Heterozygous PAX6 gene mutations cause the rare and progressive panocular disease congenital aniridia and the vast majority of patients also suffer from aniridia‐related keratopathy (ARK). As a means to search for effective treat ARK, researchers from the lab of Daniel Aberdam (INSERM U976, Hôpital Saint‐Louis, Paris, France) employed CRISPR/Cas9 to introduce the PAX6 mutation in patient-derived limbal stem cells (LSCs) to create a testable model. In their new STEM CELLS study, Roux et al. describe the construction of this model and identify a soluble recombinant PAX6 protein as a possible treatment.

Current Understanding on Prostate CSCs

A new review article from STEM CELLS from the lab of Anna Dubrovska aims to bring us up to date with what we currently understand regarding cancer stem cells (CSCs) in prostate cancer. Specifically, Skvortsov et al. discuss current methods for prostate CSC enrichment and analysis, the hallmarks of prostate CSC metabolism, and the role of prostate CSCs in tumor progression.

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!

May 27,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Umbilical Cord Blood Banking, MSC-based Wound Healing, Strap-mediated ESC Differentiation, and EPC‐derived Mitochondria in Brain Protection!

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!

Evolving Landscape of Umbilical Cord Blood Banking

Umbilical cord blood (UCB) banking provides an off‐the‐shelf solution for patients in urgent need of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). However, the release of UCB units for therapeutic purposes has plateaued and started to decrease year‐on‐year from 2013 to 2016. Researchers from the lab of Michael S. Pepper (University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa) sought to uncover the reasons behind this trend in a new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article. They report that the emergence of haploidentical HSCT, the increasing use of UCB units for regenerative medicine purposes, the high cost associated with UCB transplantation, the economic impact of sustaining public bank operations, and an active private UCB banking sector all play influencing roles.

MSC for Lasting Wound Healing of Irradiated Skin

A new study from the lab of Christine Linard (Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire, Fontenay‐aux‐Roses, France) sought to investigate the potential application of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) as a means to improve plastic surgery for skin necrosis, in a large‐animal model of cutaneous radiation syndrome. The team discovered that vascularized flap surgery successfully and lastingly remodeled irradiated skin only when combined with BM‐MSC therapy. For all the details, see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now!

Strap in Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation

Researchers from the lab of Pran K. Datta (University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA) recently set out to investigate the functional role of the WD‐domain protein Strap (serine-threonine kinase receptor‐associated protein) in the pluripotency and lineage commitment of murine embryonic stem cells (mESCs). Jin et al. report that Strap knockout mESCs exhibit defects for lineage differentiation due to attenuated intracellular retinoic acid signaling and the induced expression of Cyp26A1. For the entire story, head over to STEM CELLS now!

EPC‐derived Mitochondria Protect Brain Endothelium

Recent studies have suggested that endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) release and transfer mitochondria when employed as a treatment for stroke and central nervous system injury. Now, research led by Kazuhide Hayakawa, Eng H. Lo, and Anna Rosell have established that EPCs support brain endothelial energetics, barrier integrity, and angiogenic function partly through extracellular mitochondrial transfer. For more on this exciting new advance, make your way 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!