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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Genomic Safe Harbors, Immune Reconstitution, Chemically Modified mRNA, and αEP4-Elicited MSC Extracellular Vesicles!

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 Genomic Safe Harbors and Suicide Gene System

Suicide gene therapy represents a possible means to ensure the safety of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cells and tissues following transplantation. To develop this approach further, researchers from the lab of  Yasuyoshi Kimura (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA) and Hideki Mochizuki (Osaka University, Osaka, Japan) studied several human genomic safe harbors (GSHs) for genome editing. The authors of this STEM CELLS Translational Medicine lists the features of human GSH candidates and presents topological and epigenetic analysis to facilitate prediction of the influence of genome editing.


Boosting Immune Reconstitution Post‐Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

Prolonged T cell immunodeficiency following allogeneic transplantation represents a significant clinical problem that leads to a high rate of infectious complications and disease relapse. A recent review from the laboratory of Isabelle André (INSERM U1163, Paris, France) now discusses current strategies aimed at enhancing immune reconstitution post-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. In particular, Simons et al. emphasize the importance of cellular therapies such as the injection of ex vivo generated T cell progenitors to accelerate immune reconstitution after transplantation, as this approach confers a polyclonal host repertoire without the risk of alloreactivity. For this and more, head over to STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.

Chemically Modified mRNA Applications in Cell and Tissue Engineering

Chemically modified mRNA (cmRNA) offers novel approaches for nucleic acid therapy field due to lower immunogenicity, higher stability, and the lack of insertional mutagenesis. Furthermore, cmRNA strategies have successfully reprogrammed somatic cells to pluripotency. For these reasons, a recent article from the laboratory of Zohreh Sadat Badieyan and Todd Evans (Cornell University, New York, New York, USA) comprehensively compared a variety of studies employing cmRNAs for cell fate conversion and tissue engineering. The authors hope that this information will be useful for investigators searching for cmRNA‐based protocols for tissue engineering and will enhance future cmRNA-related investigations for regenerative medicine in a timely and efficient manner. For all the fine print, see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.

αEP4-Elicited MSC Extracellular Vesicles Rescue Cognition and Learning

The limited regenerative capacity of the adult brain has led to the development of stem cell-based therapies for brain damage and neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, researchers from the laboratory of Hua‐Jung Li (National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli, Taiwan, China) sought to assess the potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) after prostaglandin E2/prostaglandin E2 receptor 4 (PGE2/EP4) signaling pathway antagonism. In this STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article, Chen et al. discovered that these EVs contained anti‐inflammatory cytokines and factors that modify astrocyte function, blood-brain barrier integrity, and microglial migration into the damaged hippocampus. Furthermore, following systemic administration in mice, of EP4 antagonist‐elicited MSC EVs repaired deficiencies of cognition, learning, and memory, inhibited reactive astrogliosis, attenuated inflammation, reduced microglial infiltration into damaged areas, and increased blood-brain barrier integrity.

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!