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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Retinal Ganglion Cell Repair, Human Platelet Lysate, Female Germline Stem Cells, and Metabolic Reprogramming of iPSCs!

Retinal Ganglion Cell Repair by iPSC-Derived Müller Glia

The transplantation of Müller glial cells may represent a beneficial treatment for glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness. In an encouraging advance, researchers led by Karen Eastlake and G. Astrid Limb (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK) recently described the isolation of Müller glia from retinal organoids formed by human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in a STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article. The team demonstrated how these cells partially restored visual function in rats depleted of retinal ganglion cells and may, therefore, represent an attractive means to prevent and treat vision loss caused by degenerative retinal conditions.

Human Platelet Lysate-based Expansion Improves Bone Forming Potential

The replacement of fetal bovine serum (FBS) with human platelet lysate (HPL) in growth media preparations may improve the clinical applicability of several types of stem cells. To explore the in vivo therapeutic and regenerative potential of HPL, researchers from the laboratory of Ioannis Papantoniou (KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium) compared FBS and HPL for the scalable, microcarrier‐based dynamic expansion of human periosteum‐derived stem cells (hPDCs) and assessed bone forming capacity by subcutaneous implantation in a small animal model. Excitingly, Gupta et al. now report that HPL supplementation prompted a higher degree of bone formation following the implantation of hPDCs and calcium phosphate carriers in small animal models thanks to the activation of WNT and BMP pathways. For all the details, see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.

AKT3 Drives the Self-renewal of Female Germline Stem Cells

A recent study out of the Kang Zou lab (Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China) established that Cadherin‐22 (CDH22) regulates the self‐renewal of mouse female germline stem cells (FGSCs) via an interaction with the JAK-STAT signal pathway and β‐catenin. Now, the team returns with their new findings, reporting Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) as a pivotal molecule for self‐renewal of FGSCs. In their new STEM CELLS article, Zhang et al. reveal the connection between the CDH22 and GDNF signaling pathways in FGSCs and verify AKT3 as the pivotal molecule of this network.

Metabolic Regulation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Physiology


A recent study from a team of researchers from the laboratory of Alexandra J. Harvey (University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) sought to understand how metabolite availability during reprogramming affects the physiology of resultant induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). In their STEM CELLS article, Spyrou et al. report that while iPSCs retained their somatic cell or origin memory regardless of reprogramming oxygen conditions, deriving iPSC under atmospheric (20%) oxygen resulted in iPSCs displaying an aberrant glycolytic metabolism, shortened telomeres, and transcriptomic instability. Overall, this new study highlights the importance of optimizing nutrient availability during the reprogramming process.

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!