You are here

Comment

Discuss

The Controlled Generation of Functional Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neurons from Human Embryonic Stem Cells

From the May 2011 Issue of Stem Cells

Paper Commentary by Stuart P. Atkinson

Dementia, and specifically Alzheimer's disease (AD), may be among the most costly diseases for society in Europe and the United States, and with the continual increase in the aged population promises only to get worse, with 1 in 85 persons worldwide of all ages predicted to suffer by the year 2050 (Brookmeyer et al). Therefore, treatment for this type of disease, in particular cell replacement therapy, is highly sought after. A constant feature of AD is the loss of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons (BFCNs) and is associated with problems in spatial learning and memory, and therefore a source of these cells for possible replacement therapy would be of great advantage. Using data known about BFCNs arising from studies of the mouse median ganglionic eminence (MGE), the laboratory of John A. Kessler at the Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA set out to determine a suitable source of cells for cell replacement therapy. This study (Bissonnette et al) is published in the May 2011 edition of Stem Cells.

The Controlled Generation of Functional Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neurons from Human Embryonic Stem Cells

From the May 2011 Issue of Stem Cells

Paper Commentary by Stuart P. Atkinson

Dementia, and specifically Alzheimer's disease (AD), may be among the most costly diseases for society in Europe and the United States, and with the continual increase in the aged population promises only to get worse, with 1 in 85 persons worldwide of all ages predicted to suffer by the year 2050 (Brookmeyer et al). Therefore, treatment for this type of disease, in particular cell replacement therapy, is highly sought after. A constant feature of AD is the loss of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons (BFCNs) and is associated with problems in spatial learning and memory, and therefore a source of these cells for possible replacement therapy would be of great advantage. Using data known about BFCNs arising from studies of the mouse median ganglionic eminence (MGE), the laboratory of John A. Kessler at the Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA set out to determine a suitable source of cells for cell replacement therapy. This study (Bissonnette et al) is published in the May 2011 edition of Stem Cells.

Snakes and ladders –some stem cell players win, other lose

Lyle Armstrong, Stem Cells Portal Editor

Human Stem cell research has never had an easy time in terms of public acceptance and government regulation so workers in this field should be accustomed to controversial decisions affecting the future of this endeavour. Neither is it rare for two areas of the world to hold diametrically opposed views about stem cell research but in recent weeks we have seen decisions taking this polarity to a higher level. On the one hand, the USA has this week given a potentially enormous boost to Human Embryonic Stem Cell development by removing the ban on public funding for embryonic stem cell research. Set against this is the recent statement made by the court of justice of the European Union, that procedures involving established human embryonic stem cell lines are not patentable.

Snakes and ladders –some stem cell players win, other lose

Lyle Armstrong, Stem Cells Portal Editor

Human Stem cell research has never had an easy time in terms of public acceptance and government regulation so workers in this field should be accustomed to controversial decisions affecting the future of this endeavour. Neither is it rare for two areas of the world to hold diametrically opposed views about stem cell research but in recent weeks we have seen decisions taking this polarity to a higher level. On the one hand, the USA has this week given a potentially enormous boost to Human Embryonic Stem Cell development by removing the ban on public funding for embryonic stem cell research. Set against this is the recent statement made by the court of justice of the European Union, that procedures involving established human embryonic stem cell lines are not patentable.

So how different are they? - New Analyses show the Equivalence of Karyotypic Abnormalities in iPSC and ESC

From Nature Biotechnology.

Recent correspondence in Nature Biotechnology has suggested that there are no notable differences in the incidence of chromosomal aberrations between ESC and iPSC. The paper (Taapken et al) from Karen D Montgomery of the WiCell Research Institute in Wisconsin analysed 552 cultures of 219 human iPSC lines and 1,163 cultures from 40 human ESC lines from 97 investigators in 29 laboratories - no mean feat. Their analysis showed that 12.5% of the iPSC lines had an abnormal karyotype while the figure in the ESC lines was 12.9%.This wide study is generally at odds with multiple recent publications (See Genetic Instability in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: One Step Forward in Understanding, Two Steps Back from the Clinic?).

So how different are they? - New Analyses show the Equivalence of Karyotypic Abnormalities in iPSC and ESC

From Nature Biotechnology.

Recent correspondence in Nature Biotechnology has suggested that there are no notable differences in the incidence of chromosomal aberrations between ESC and iPSC. The paper (Taapken et al) from Karen D Montgomery of the WiCell Research Institute in Wisconsin analysed 552 cultures of 219 human iPSC lines and 1,163 cultures from 40 human ESC lines from 97 investigators in 29 laboratories - no mean feat. Their analysis showed that 12.5% of the iPSC lines had an abnormal karyotype while the figure in the ESC lines was 12.9%.This wide study is generally at odds with multiple recent publications (See Genetic Instability in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: One Step Forward in Understanding, Two Steps Back from the Clinic?).

CD24: a Novel Surface Marker for PDX1-Positive Pancreatic Progenitors Derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells

From the April 2011 Issue of Stem Cells

Paper Commentary by Stuart P. Atkinson

Pancreatic beta cell replacement for the treatment of type I diabetes mellitus through the directed differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) is one of the great hopes for regenerative medicine. Great strides have been made towards this goal, although the efficient production of functionally mature functional beta cells from hESC-pancreatic progenitor cells has not yet been reported. One of the main limitations is the heterogeneity of differentiating hESC cultures in vitro. Now the group of Hongkui Deng at the School of Life Sciences at Peking University have demonstrated the potential usefulness of the cell surface marker CD24 for identification and enrichment of pancreatic progenitor cells derived from ESC. The study (Jiang et al.), published in the April Edition of Stem Cells, also shows the equivalence of in vitro differentiated pancreatic progenitor cells with those seen in vivo through the analysis of CD24 positive cells.

CD24: a Novel Surface Marker for PDX1-Positive Pancreatic Progenitors Derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells

From the April 2011 Issue of Stem Cells

Paper Commentary by Stuart P. Atkinson

Pancreatic beta cell replacement for the treatment of type I diabetes mellitus through the directed differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) is one of the great hopes for regenerative medicine. Great strides have been made towards this goal, although the efficient production of functionally mature functional beta cells from hESC-pancreatic progenitor cells has not yet been reported. One of the main limitations is the heterogeneity of differentiating hESC cultures in vitro. Now the group of Hongkui Deng at the School of Life Sciences at Peking University have demonstrated the potential usefulness of the cell surface marker CD24 for identification and enrichment of pancreatic progenitor cells derived from ESC. The study (Jiang et al.), published in the April Edition of Stem Cells, also shows the equivalence of in vitro differentiated pancreatic progenitor cells with those seen in vivo through the analysis of CD24 positive cells.

Ectopic Expression of Nup98-HoxA10 Augments Erythroid Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells

From the April 2011 Issue of Stem Cells

Paper Commentary by Stuart P. Atkinson

HOX genes are a group of related genes that act to determine the basic structure and orientation of an organism and contain a DNA-binding domain called the homeodomain which can bind to enhancer sequences of other genes to control their transcription. Many HOX genes are expressed in human primitive haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells but have also been identified as fusion partners in leukaemia’s. One of the most common fusion partners for HOX genes is NUP98 (Slape and Aplan), a nucleoporin protein which is part of the nuclear pore complex (NPC). NA10 is an artificially engineered fusion of the NUP98 gene and the homeodomain of HOXA10, a key regulator of primitive hematopoietic cell expansion and erythroid/megakaryocytic lineage choice (Magnusson et al) and has been shown to potently stimulate the in vitro expansion of murine haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) (Ohta et al). Given this action of NA10, researchers in the lab of Mickie Bhatia at the Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute at McMaster University decided to investigate the role of NA10 in regulating early haematopoiesis from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), a study now presented (Ji et al.) in the April Edition of Stem Cells.

Ectopic Expression of Nup98-HoxA10 Augments Erythroid Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells

From the April 2011 Issue of Stem Cells

Paper Commentary by Stuart P. Atkinson

HOX genes are a group of related genes that act to determine the basic structure and orientation of an organism and contain a DNA-binding domain called the homeodomain which can bind to enhancer sequences of other genes to control their transcription. Many HOX genes are expressed in human primitive haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells but have also been identified as fusion partners in leukaemia’s. One of the most common fusion partners for HOX genes is NUP98 (Slape and Aplan), a nucleoporin protein which is part of the nuclear pore complex (NPC). NA10 is an artificially engineered fusion of the NUP98 gene and the homeodomain of HOXA10, a key regulator of primitive hematopoietic cell expansion and erythroid/megakaryocytic lineage choice (Magnusson et al) and has been shown to potently stimulate the in vitro expansion of murine haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) (Ohta et al). Given this action of NA10, researchers in the lab of Mickie Bhatia at the Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute at McMaster University decided to investigate the role of NA10 in regulating early haematopoiesis from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), a study now presented (Ji et al.) in the April Edition of Stem Cells.

Pages

Subscribe to Stem Cells Portal - Stem Cells Journal Online Community RSS