Featured Articles

Placenta-Derived Decidua Stromal Cells for Treatment of Severe Acute Graft-Versus-Host Disease

There has been no effective therapy for severe acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a life-threatening complication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells were introduced as a novel therapy for acute GVHD, which cured some, but not all, patients with severe acute GVHD. The placenta plays an important role in fetomaternal tolerance and has been used in Africa for 100 years to successfully treat burn injuries. It was found that placenta-derived decidua stromal cells (DSCs) are immunosuppressive in vitro and in vivo and may cure severe acute GVHD. In this pilot study, an optimal protocol was found using DSCs at 1 × 106 cells/kg dissolved in saline with 5% human albumin instead of 10% AB-plasma, given at least one dose a week. All patients receiving this treatment showed partial or complete responses and the best one-year survival. This was a small pilot study, but all patients with severe acute GVHD were cured using the new protocol. There were no major side effects. In conclusion, DSCs are a novel, promising therapy for acute GVHD and other inflammatory immunological disorders.

The Vasoreparative Function of Myeloid Angiogenic Cells Is Impaired in Diabetes Through the Induction of IL1β

Myeloid angiogenic cells (MACs) can be isolated from peripheral blood and injected into patients to assist blood vessel repair in ischemic diseases. Feasibility and efficacy for this approach has been demonstrated in myocardial infarction where delivery of MACs reduced damage and contributed to regeneration of damaged tissue. Some studies suggest that the regenerative potential of MACs in diabetic patients is significantly impaired. Since this patient group suffers serious vascular degenerative disease, the potential to use MACs for cell therapy may be hampered. Furthermore, there is concern that once injected into the diabetic environment, MACs can change phenotype and could potentially worsen the ischemia. This study provides strong evidence that MACs are less reparative and more inflammatory in the diabetic environment. Importantly, the study identified IL1β as a key mediator for this change. This information is useful to devise strategies to restore MACs functionality in diabetic patients.


Journal Club Discussions

March 4, 2018

Researchers discover that treatment with microvesicles from young MSCs can rejuvenate aged HSCs and potentially improve bone marrow transplantation outcomes



Article Scans

March 19, 2018
A new study identifies a long non-coding RNA as an important barrier impeding the reprogramming of cells derived from old patients
March 19, 2018
A new study suggests that DNA methylation analysis of select gene promoters can identify the optimal pluripotent stem cell for bone repair strategies
March 12, 2018
A new study from University of Tampere, Finland suggests that human adipose stem cells injection represent a simple and feasible treatment option for anal sphincter muscle injury