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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Organelle Transfer, Cartilage Chondroprogenitors, Stem Cell Migration, and iPSC Therapy for SCI!

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!

Intercellular Communication via Organelle Transfer by Stem Cells

An article from Lisa MA Murray and Anna D Krasnodembskaya (Queen's University Belfast, UK) focuses on the known instances of organelle transfer between stem cells and differentiated cells, what effects it has on recipient cells, and how organelle transfer is regulated. Within the last decade, there has been considerable interest in the inter‐cellular communication mediated by the transfer of cytoplasmic material and organelles between cells, and this STEM CELLS review aspires to provide a succinct overview of the numerous studies that have demonstrated how mitochondria and lysosomes are transported between cells by various mechanisms, including tunneling nanotubes, microvesicles, and cellular fusion.

Cartilage Chondroprogenitors Bridge the Meniscus

Tears in the inner one‐third of the meniscus heal poorly and present a significant clinical challenge; however, researchers from the laboratory of Chathuraka T. Jayasuriya (Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, USA) hypothesized that progenitor cells from healthy human articular cartilage (C‐PCs) could mediate bridging and reintegration of fibrocartilage tissue tears. In a new STEM CELLS article, the team now report that chondroprogenitor cell lines generated from healthy human articular cartilage facilitate successful bridging of inner meniscal tears in a manner that relies on SDF-1/CXCR4 chemokine axis. The authors hope that this research will provide proof-of-concept that C-PCs can reintegrate and repair fibrocartilaginous tissue.

The Mechanism of Activin B in Bone Marrow Stem Cell Migration

Previous research from the lab of Lin Zhang and Lu Zhang (Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China) demonstrated that Activin B represents a potent chemoattractant for bone marrow‐derived mesenchymal stromal cells (BMSCs) and that  RhoA activation plays a key role. Now, the team returns with a STEM CELLS report in which the importance of membrane ruffle formation, microtubule morphology and focal adhesion signaling dynamics to Activin B induced BMSC migration. The team anticipates that their work will aid the optimization of MSC-based transplantation strategies in clinical skin wound healing.

iPSC-based Cell Therapy for Spinal Cord Injury

A recent article from the laboratory of Hideyuki Okano (Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan) describes the preparation for a first‐in‐human clinical study of an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)‐based cell transplant intervention for subacute spinal cord injury. Tsuji et al. address the issues of safety and tumorigenesis as well as practical problems that must be overcome to enable the development of therapeutic interventions for patients with chronic SCI. See STEM CELLS now for more on this Class I regenerative medicine protocol, as provided for under Japan's Act on the Safety of Regenerative Medicine, employing neural stem/progenitor cells derived from a clinical‐grade, integration‐free human “iPSC stock” generated by the Kyoto University Center for iPS Cell Research and Application.

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!