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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Enhanced RGC Generation, Bladder Tissue Engineering, Placental MSC-Treatment of Cardiomyopathy, and MSC-EVs Enhance Survival after Irradiation!

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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!

Enhanced Generation of Human Retinal Ganglion Cells

A new report from the labs of Donald J. Zack (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Maryland, USA) and Derek S. Welsbie (University of California, USA) describes a novel means to efficiently differentiate and purify retinal ganglion cells (RGC) from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). Employing CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing, Sluch et al. created a human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line in which an RGC-specific gene controls the expression of a fluorescent reporter and a unique cell-surface protein. Applying this system permitted the construction of an enhanced differentiation protocol and the facile purification of RGCs; see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now for all the details.

Status and Further Challenges in Tissue Engineering of the Urinary Bladder

A recent article from the laboratory of Jan Adamowicz (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Bydgoszcz, Poland) appraises the current status and future challenges that face scientists working in urinary bladder regeneration. This review article emphasizes the expectations of urologists in the hope that a defined interdisciplinary approach might help to accelerate urinary bladder tissue engineering research. Head on over to STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now for a great read!

Treating Diabetic Cardiomyopathy with Placenta-derived MSCs

Diabetic cardiomyopathy presents with changes in cardiac structure and function in the absence of coronary artery disease and hypertension. As mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) display cardioprotective features, a team from the lab of Carsten Tschöpe (Charité – University Medicine Berlin, Germany) sought to assess their therapeutic potential. Excitingly, Van Linthout et al. discovered that intravenous administration of placenta-derived MSCs led to cardioprotection during the early stages of diabetic cardiomyopathy in a mouse model. Could these cells represent an exciting new therapeutic option for human patients? Find out over at STEM CELLS Translational Medicine right now!

MSC-EVs Provide Long-term Survival after Total Body Irradiation

Whole body radiation employed in the conditioning of patients before hematopoietic stem cell transplantation leads to severe side effects; however, a new report from the lab of Claudia Lange (University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany) reports that extracellular vesicles-derived from bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC-EVs) may provide protection. Overall, Schoefinius et al. now suggest that MSC-EVs promote the survival of hematopoietic stem cells following radiation damage; see STEM CELLS today for a more in-depth view!

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!