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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – CD36 and Adipogenic Potential, Coenzyme Q10 Deficiency iPSCs, BM-EPCs and Pulmonary Hypertension, and CECs for AMD Treatment!

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A roundup of some the recent stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells and regenerative medicine

CD36-positive hADSCs: Full of Potential?

A recent study from the laboratories of Mikael Rydén (Karolinska University, Stockholm, Sweden) and Anne Bouloumié (INSERM and Université de Toulouse, France) aimed to discover a means to identify human adipose-derived stromal cells (hADSCs) with pronounced adipogenic/triglyceride storage ability. Their STEM CELLS study now demonstrates that the scavenger receptor CD36 marks “enhanced” hADSCs and the authors hope these findings “may pave the way for the development of better fat cell systems to allow mechanistic insights as well as improving our understanding of the link between adipogenesis and metabolic phenotype.”

iPSC Model of Coenzyme Q10 Deficiency

Mutations in the genes responsible for coenzyme Q10 biosynthesis (COQ genes) lead to a heterogeneous mitochondrial disorder with no clear genotype-phenotype association. To gain a better appreciation of this condition, researchers from the lab of Pablo Menendez (University of Barcelona, Spain) generated human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from a human patient harboring a heterozygous mutation in COQ4. Their new study, described in STEM CELLS, demonstrates that “the COQ4 mutation faithfully reproduces skeletal muscle dysfunction and metabolic deficits with no neurological involvement”. The authors hope that these iPSCs may improve our knowledge on coenzyme Q10 deficiency and permit drug screening.

Linking BM-EPCs and Pulmonary Hypertension

A new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study from the lab of Jason M. Aliotta (Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA) aimed to understand the role of bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells (BM-EPCs) in modulating pulmonary hypertensive responses. Employing a mouse model, the team report that extracellular vesicles (EVs) released from pulmonary vascular endothelial cells convert BM-EPCs into pathologic progenitors to induce pulmonary vascular remodeling. A cool new study with an intriguing new connection between the bone marrow and pulmonary vasculature!

Generating iPSC-derived CECs for AMD Treatment

Studies have suggested that choroidal endothelial cells (CECs) of the vasculature bed located behind the retina are the first cells lost during the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD causes irreversible blindness and many labs are pursuing cell replacement therapies based on pluripotent stem cell differentiation. Now, the lab of Budd A. Tucker (University of Iowa, USA) describes a new means to differentiate human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) into CEC-like cells in the hope of applying them in a cell replacement strategy. See STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now for all the details.

So that’s a wrap for this week! Please let us know your views on all the stories we have covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz, and please let us know if we have missed anything interesting! Happy reading!