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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – Treating ALS with MSCs, Transdifferentiation with MIWI2, Exosomes from T1D BM-MSCs, and Esophageal Anastomotic Leakage Therapy!

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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!

Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Reduce Necroptosis in ALS Model Mice

A recent study from Pavla Jendelova (Czech Academy of Science/Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic) sought to discover how human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) therapy functions when applied as a treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Using a SOD1 rat model, Řehořová et al. demonstrated how repeated intrathecal and intramuscular application of hMSCs extended life span and protected motor neurons and neuromuscular junctions through the inhibition of the apoptosis, autophagy, and, importantly,  necroptosis cell death pathways. For all the details, head over to STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now!

The function of Somatic MIWI2 during Transdifferentiation

In a recent attempt to delineate roles for PIWI proteins in somatic cells and in cancer development, researchers from the lab of Guang Yang (ShanghaiTech University, China) recently uncovered a role for the MIWI2 in cell plasticity. Shi et al. report that MIWI2 aids the trans‐differentiation of fibroblasts into hepatocyte‐like cells and describe how piRNA biogenesis responds to cell fate conversion, consistent with the proposed mechanism of piRNA acting as an “immune system” in the cell. Discover more about this fascinating study at STEM CELLS!

Impaired Effect of BM-MSC Exosomes in Type 1 Diabetes

Tissue regeneration using stem cell-derived exosomes represents a growing and potentially exciting field and recently, researchers from the labs of Yimin Chai and Jia Xu (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, PR China) sought to compare the bone regenerative capacity of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell (BM-MSC)-derived exosomes from healthy and type 1 diabetes (T1D) rats. Interestingly, Zhu et al. now report that T1D impairs the ability of BM-MSC exosomes to regenerate bone in a study with significant relevance to future clinical translation. For more, see the original article at STEM CELLS Translational Medicine and the associated press release at the Stem Cells Portal.

Stem-Cell Therapy for Esophageal Anastomotic Leakage

As currently available therapies remain unsatisfactory, researchers from the lab of Hao Zhang (Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, PR China) recently sought to harness the healing effects of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as a treatment for esophageal anastomotic leakage, a devastating complication following esophageal resection. In their STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study, Xue et al. now report that the transplantation of MSCs within a fibrin scaffold suppressed inflammation, promoted higher closure rate, and reduced the infection rate in a rabbit model. Great news!

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!