You are here

Press Releases from AlphaMed Press

Comment

Discuss

Embargo Policy: Articles for STEM CELLS and STEM CELLS Translational Medicine are embargoed for release until 9 a.m. Eastern U.S. time on the day the article is posted online. This policy applies to members of the media, authors, institutions' public information officers, and the public. Authors may not discuss their work with the media until 1 week before the mailing date or 1 week before online posting of the article, whichever is earlier, and must ensure that the media representatives agree to abide by the embargo policy. STEM CELLS Translational Medicine may refuse to publish a manuscript, despite acceptance for publication, if it has been prematurely released to the press.

May 21, 2013

Researchers at the Leiden University Medical Center’s Department of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion in Leiden, The Netherlands, led by Helene Roelofs, Ph.D., conducted the study. They were seeking an alternative to bone marrow for stem cell therapies because of the low number of stem cells available in marrow and also because harvesting them involves an invasive procedure.

“Adipose tissue is an interesting alternative since it contains approximately a 500-fold higher frequency of stem cells and tissue collection is simple,” Dr. Roelofs said.

“Moreover,” Dr. Sara M. Melief added, “400,000 liposuctions a year are performed in the U.S. alone, where the aspirated adipose tissue is regarded as waste and could be collected without any additional burden or risk for the donor.”

May 16, 2013

Many medical experts have long believed that neural stem cells (NSCs) have great potential for treating neurological diseases. However, the problem is that just a small number of NSCs can be transplanted into the brain, yielding relatively low levels of new cell growth and, thus, a limited effect. “We wanted to investigate whether using a specific population of neural cells would help increase the number of mature brain cells that the stem cell graft yields,” Dr. Wolfe explained.

The team began by harvesting NSCs from the brains of baby mice and used a process known as fluorescence activated cell sorting to identify cells with markers for CD15, a type of carbohydrate found on a cell’s surface that plays an important role in cell migration, adhesion and in the growth factor signaling involved in cell maintenance and differentiation.

May 16, 2013

“Cell transplantation strategies therefore typically introduce a stress challenge at the time of transplantation as the cells are switched from 20 percent to 3 percent oxygen, which is the average in adult organs,” she added.

A previous study had indicated that cardiac stem cells showed a better survival rate when the oxygen tension during their culturing was reduced. In this study, the Cambridge and Edinburgh teams wanted to learn if the same might prove true for neural stem cells (NSCs). So they modeled the oxygen stress that occurs during transplantation and, using NSCs collected from young rats, demonstrated that reducing the oxygen tension during culture in the laboratory from 20 percent to 3 percent resulted in significant cell death, while maintaining a 3 percent level protected them.

They saw similar results when they transplanted the stem cells into the brains of adult rats.

April 18, 2013

In fact, the dysfunction and death of RPE is thought to be behind the leading cause of blindness in the Western world — age related macular degeneration.

Transplantation of RPE cells into the retina to treat AMD has been demonstrated in animals and is now being tested in clinical trials in humans. However, protocols to generate RPE from human pluripotent stem cells are time consuming and relatively inefficient. But a team of scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, reports in the latest issue of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine that it has found a way to isolate RPE cells as early as 14 days following the onset of differentiation.

April 16, 2013

People who have RA overproduce a protein called tumor necrosis factor (TNF), which causes the inflammation and damage to the bones, cartilage and tissue. Anti-TNF drugs can block the action of the protein and reduce inflammation. Etanercept® (marketed under the trade name Enbrel) is a type of anti-TNF drug called a biologic that for years has been prescribed to treat RA. However, it can’t be targeted specifically to the site of the arthritis and, thus, requires higher doses that can cause serious side effects including fatal infections, multiple sclerosis, seizures, heart failure, cancer and more.

April 12, 2013

“As a result, there has been significant interest in developing RPE culture systems both to study AMD disease mechanisms and to provide substrate for possible cell-based therapies. Because of their indefinite self-renewal, human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) have the potential to provide an unlimited supply of RPE-like cells,” noted Donald Zack, M.D., Ph.D., who with Julien Maruotti, Ph.D., led the team of researchers from the Wilmer Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md., and the Institute of Vision in Paris in conducting the study.

“However, most of the currently accepted methods in use for deriving RPE cells from hPSC involve time-and-labor-consuming steps done by hand, and they don’t yield large enough amount of the differentiated cells – which has posed a problem when trying to use them to develop potential new therapies,” Dr. Maruotti added.

April 3, 2013

ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) is characterized by the degeneration and death of the body’s motor neurons, leading to muscle atrophy, paralysis and death due to failure of the respiratory muscles. Despite studies that have improved our understanding of how ALS develops, there are no effective treatments. However, stem cell based-therapies have emerged as a potential solution.

“The transplantation of stem-cell derived neural progenitors may have beneficial effect not only for the replacement of motor neurons already lost, but also in counteracting degeneration and death of motor neurons,” said Roland Pochet, Ph.D., of the Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. He headed up the research team that included scientists from INSERM et Université Paris-Sud, and the Pasteur Institute, also in Paris, and Hannover Medical School in Germany.

March 20, 2013

“NK cells show promise for cancer therapy,” said Dan Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D., of the Stem Cell Institute, University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. “They are part of the innate immune system and exhibit potent antitumor activity without the need for donor matching and prior treatment.

“Moreover, the derivation of NK cells from pluripotent stem cells could provide an unlimited source of lymphocytes for ‘off-the-shelf’ therapy.”

Dr. Kaufman was the lead investigator on the study that included colleagues from UM as well as from the Integrated Center of Cellular Therapy and Regenerative Medicine, St. Anne's University Hospital Brno, Brno, Czech Republic; and the University of Texas, Houston.

March 18, 2013

Interestingly, the regenerated bone is also hard, rather than the spongy kind normally found in the jaw.

The new study is a follow-up to previous investigations by an international team of researchers in which they discovered that mesenchymal stem cells taken from dental pulp and seeded on a collagen scaffold successfully repaired the mandible bone. In this latest work, they checked on patients who had received the mandible bone grafts three years earlier to assess the stability and quality of the regenerated bone and vessel network.

They found the new bone had normal function and was richly vascularized, although was much more compact than the spongy type normally found in the mandible. The team theorized that, most probably, regeneration of compact bone occurs because grafted dental-pulp stem cells do not follow the local signals of the surrounding spongy bone.

February 11, 2013

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a rapidly deteriorating neurological condition affecting five out of every 100,000 people worldwide, mainly after the age of 50. The average survival time is only three years.

While no effective treatment exists, preliminary studies suggest that the quality of life and even life expectancy itself could be improved in patients who receive stem cell infusions. However, questions remain about the capacity of these cells to “take hold” and turn into neurons.

Pages