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September issue of Stem Cells

By Lyle Armstrong

The September issue of Stem Cells has some articles of particular interest to the field of regenerative medicine using adult or tissue specific stem cells.  We have selected two reviews for this editorial.

 

Bioengineering Our Way towards Organ Replacement Therapy

By Maria H. Ledran

In the mid 1930’s the unlikely collaborators aviator Charles Lindberg and maverick surgeon Alexis Carrel, were the first to sustain whole organs outside the body for extended periods using their newly invented glass perfusion pumps. Arguably the unique methods set out by the pair including the anastomy (suturing) of even the most miniscule blood vessels and, importantly, the proof of concept for organ perfusion with a vision towards regeneration and transplant, have facilitated the intense research into regenerative medicine that continues to this day. Seventy five years later, and with an increasing shortage of suitable donor organs, we are still unable to generate whole organs in vitro. However, new tissue engineering approaches might now represent an important step towards closing this gap.

Bioengineering Our Way towards Organ Replacement Therapy

By Maria H. Ledran

In the mid 1930’s the unlikely collaborators aviator Charles Lindberg and maverick surgeon Alexis Carrel, were the first to sustain whole organs outside the body for extended periods using their newly invented glass perfusion pumps. Arguably the unique methods set out by the pair including the anastomy (suturing) of even the most miniscule blood vessels and, importantly, the proof of concept for organ perfusion with a vision towards regeneration and transplant, have facilitated the intense research into regenerative medicine that continues to this day. Seventy five years later, and with an increasing shortage of suitable donor organs, we are still unable to generate whole organs in vitro. However, new tissue engineering approaches might now represent an important step towards closing this gap.

STEM CELLS’ Position Statement on hESC Research

STEM CELLS’ Position Statement on hESC Research

Durham, North Carolina, August 27, 2010 — The Journal STEM CELLS® has published many important and exciting achievements in the field of stem cells during its twenty-eight year history. Through scientific discovery, the Journal reports on both adult and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The Journal believes that the scientific community benefits from research on all stem cell types in order to maximize our basic biological knowledge and our ability to fight debilitating human diseases. Therefore, we applauded the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July when it approved the first authorized clinical trials using hESCs to treat spinal cord injury.  This decision encouraged researchers, clinicians, and patients alike.

STEM CELLS’ Position Statement on hESC Research

STEM CELLS’ Position Statement on hESC Research

Durham, North Carolina, August 27, 2010 — The Journal STEM CELLS® has published many important and exciting achievements in the field of stem cells during its twenty-eight year history. Through scientific discovery, the Journal reports on both adult and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The Journal believes that the scientific community benefits from research on all stem cell types in order to maximize our basic biological knowledge and our ability to fight debilitating human diseases. Therefore, we applauded the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July when it approved the first authorized clinical trials using hESCs to treat spinal cord injury.  This decision encouraged researchers, clinicians, and patients alike.

SC NIH

Durham, North Carolina, August 27, 2010 — The Journal STEM CELLS® has published many important and exciting achievements in the field of stem cells during its twenty-eight year history. Through scientific discovery, the Journal reports on both adult and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The Journal believes that the scientific community benefits from research on all stem cell types in order to maximize our basic biological knowledge and our ability to fight debilitating human diseases. Therefore, we applauded the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July when it approved the first authorized clinical trials using hESCs to treat spinal cord injury.  This decision encouraged researchers, clinicians, and patients alike.

SC NIH

Durham, North Carolina, August 27, 2010 — The Journal STEM CELLS® has published many important and exciting achievements in the field of stem cells during its twenty-eight year history. Through scientific discovery, the Journal reports on both adult and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The Journal believes that the scientific community benefits from research on all stem cell types in order to maximize our basic biological knowledge and our ability to fight debilitating human diseases. Therefore, we applauded the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July when it approved the first authorized clinical trials using hESCs to treat spinal cord injury.  This decision encouraged researchers, clinicians, and patients alike.

SC NIH

Durham, North Carolina, August 27, 2010 — The Journal STEM CELLS® has published many important and exciting achievements in the field of stem cells during its twenty-eight year history. Through scientific discovery, the Journal reports on both adult and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The Journal believes that the scientific community benefits from research on all stem cell types in order to maximize our basic biological knowledge and our ability to fight debilitating human diseases. Therefore, we applauded the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July when it approved the first authorized clinical trials using hESCs to treat spinal cord injury.  This decision encouraged researchers, clinicians, and patients alike.

Unfortunately, this week the Federal District Court (FDC) in Washington, DC issued a decision that blocks federal funding for hESC research. “We believe this is a retrograde step and that governmental support for all types of stem cells is warranted,” said Dr. Martin J. Murphy, Jr., Executive Editor of STEM CELLS®. Human embryonic stem cell research is important, since it helps researchers understand early human development, improve drug screening, and may develop regenerative medicine. The decision issued by Judge Royce Lambreth will have a detrimental impact on research in the United States and worldwide, since hESCs are the only cells that can differentiate into more than 200 different cell types found in the adult human body. “Therefore we believe that research using previously approved NIH hESC lines should continue without prejudice. This research has been always been based on ethical scientific facts and, as such, they are essential in our efforts to treat a variety of illnesses,” said Dr. Miodrag Stojkovic, Editor of STEM CELLS®

SC NIH

Durham, North Carolina, August 27, 2010 — The Journal STEM CELLS® has published many important and exciting achievements in the field of stem cells during its twenty-eight year history. Through scientific discovery, the Journal reports on both adult and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The Journal believes that the scientific community benefits from research on all stem cell types in order to maximize our basic biological knowledge and our ability to fight debilitating human diseases. Therefore, we applauded the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July when it approved the first authorized clinical trials using hESCs to treat spinal cord injury.  This decision encouraged researchers, clinicians, and patients alike.

Unfortunately, this week the Federal District Court (FDC) in Washington, DC issued a decision that blocks federal funding for hESC research. “We believe this is a retrograde step and that governmental support for all types of stem cells is warranted,” said Dr. Martin J. Murphy, Jr., Executive Editor of STEM CELLS®. Human embryonic stem cell research is important, since it helps researchers understand early human development, improve drug screening, and may develop regenerative medicine. The decision issued by Judge Royce Lambreth will have a detrimental impact on research in the United States and worldwide, since hESCs are the only cells that can differentiate into more than 200 different cell types found in the adult human body. “Therefore we believe that research using previously approved NIH hESC lines should continue without prejudice. This research has been always been based on ethical scientific facts and, as such, they are essential in our efforts to treat a variety of illnesses,” said Dr. Miodrag Stojkovic, Editor of STEM CELLS®

Similar Human iPSC and ESC Chromatin States Suggests Usefulness in Regenerative Medicine

From Cell Stem Cell

Research published in the 6th August edition of Cell Stem Cell suggests that human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) may be more similar than previously thought. This research, from the laboratory of Richard A. Young shows that genome-wide maps of H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 in a panel of hESC and hiPSCs showed little differences and similar gene expression profiles. Within the same edition of Cell Stem Cell, a study from the laboratory of James B. Cooper suggests that many changes between hESC and hiPSC observed may be due to the micro-environmental context in which the cells were grown and, perhaps, analysed. Also from the same edition comes a report from Kathrin Plath and William E. Lowry who discuss the meta-analyses employed when studying expression in hESC vs. hiPSCs in order to optimize “best practice” to minimize laboratory-borne differences between these cell types.

However this does contradict recent papers which suggest that iPSC, when at low passage, are transcriptionally and epigenetically different (see recent Editorial - iPSC don´t Forget their Origins) and also exhibit differences at imprinted genes at later passages. Perhaps an expansion to a panel of histone modifications and including DNA methylation and miRNA analysis may give us a clearer story of the relative similarities and differences between hESC and hiPSC.

References

Cell Stem Cell
Chromatin Structure and Gene Expression Programs of Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Matthew G. Guenther et al.

Cell Stem Cell
Lab-Specific Gene Expression Signatures in Pluripotent Stem Cells
Aaron M. Newman and James B. Cooper

Cell Stem Cell
Molecular Analyses of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and Embryonic Stem Cells
Mark H. Chin, Matteo Pellegrini et al.

Cell Stem Cell News Preview

Recreating Pluripotency?
Kyle M. Loh and Bing Lim

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