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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!

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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!

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!