Featured Articles

A Rapid Pipeline to Model Rare Neurodevelopmental Disorders with Simultaneous CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Editing

Creating stem cell models for neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) is time consuming and technically difficult, affecting the type of disorders that are studied. Widening the net of disorders that can be studied requires lowering the barrier to entry to technically challenging stem cell research. The authors have developed a user-friendly pipeline for the non-expert which can achieve physiologically active forebrain GABA/glutamatergic or midbrain dopaminergic neurons in under two months, and demonstrate how simultaneous genetic engineering and cell reprogramming can be accomplished to establish clonal control lines. This pipeline provides a rapid way to make neurons and should prove useful for studying and testing treatments for rare NDDs.

p27kip1 is Required for Functionally Relevant Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Mice

The cell cycle associated factor p27kip1 has multiple roles in adult hippocampal neurogenesis, including the control of cell cycle exit. A p27kip1 knockout mouse shows increased proliferation of precursor cells, but (as shown in the study) reduced net neurogenesis: p27kip1 is required for controlled cell cycle exit.


Journal Club Discussions

January 16, 2017

Researchers have discovered that inducing quiescence in stem cells may be an effective means to enhance stem cell survival



Video Summary

Video abstract from Drs. Barnawi, Al-Khaldi, Sleiman, Sarkar, Al-Dhfyan, Al-Mohanna, Ghebeh, and Al-Alwan on their recently published STEM CELLS paper entitled, "Fascin is Critical for the Maintenance of Breast Cancer Stem Cell Pool Predominantly via the Activation of the Notch Self-Renewal Pathway" Read the Paper here.

Video abstract from Dr. Allen on his recently published STEM CELLS paper entitled, "Angiopellosis as an Alternative Mechanism of Cell Extravasation" Read the Paper here.

Video abstract from Drs. Serena, Keiran, Ceperuelo-Mallafre, Ejarque, Fradera, Roche, Nuñez-Roa, Vendrell, and Férnandez-Veledo on their recently published STEM CELLS paper entitled, "Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Alters the Immune Properties of Human Adipose Derived Stem Cells" Read the Paper here.

Graphical Abstracts

Confocal picture showing the myelinogenic potential of hiPS-NSCs engrafted at the border between the striatum and the corpus callosum of immunodeficient MLD mice at 3 months post-transplantation(green, human cells labeled with anti-human mitochondria; red, myelin basic protein; blue, nuclei counterstained with ToPro3). Scale bar: 100µm.

An ex vivo culture system used to isolate scalable quantities of hS/PCs with consistent expression of progenitor markers, is reported here. These hS/PCs can be maintained in long-term culture in 2D or in 3D, without loss of stem/progenitor markers.  Incorporation of bioactive basement membrane-derived peptides in the 3D hyaluronate (HA) hydrogel culture system enhances progenitor expansion.  Stimulation of hS/PC spheroids with neurotransmitter agonists leads to differentiation toward an acinar lineage.

Stem cells are emerging as a scientifically plausible treatment and possible cure for cerebral palsy, but are not yet proven. The lack of valid animal models has significantly hampered the scope of clinical trials. Despite the state of current treatment evidence, parents remain optimistic about the potential improvements from stem cell intervention and feel compelled to exhaust all therapeutic options, including stem cell tourism. Receiving unproven therapies from unvalidated sources is potentially dangerous. Thus it is essential that researchers and clinicians stay up to date. A systematic review and meta-analysis summarizing and aggregating current research data may provide more conclusive evidence to inform treatment decision making and help direct future research.