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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – Enhancing MSC Osteogenesis, Trialing Cord Blood for Autism, The Role of LSCs in CML Treatment, and Promoting HSPC Survival by NFIX!



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!

Osteogenic Enhancement of BM-MSCs

A new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study from the lab of Carl Gregory (Texas A&M University, USA) describes a new means to quickly and efficiently boost the osteogenic potential of autologous human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs). Clough et al. report that a very-rapid-exposure to the GSK3β-inhibitor BIO boosted the osteogenic phenotype and enhanced therapeutic value of BM-MSCs when assessed in a rat spinal fusion model. The authors suggest that this approach may represent a feasible and cost-effective strategy for functional enhancement of autologous BM-MSCs in the clinic.

Autologous Stem Cells from Cord Blood for Autism

STEM CELLS Translational Medicine brings you the results of an exploratory study assessing the effects of autologous umbilical cord blood (AUCB) infusion in children with idiopathic autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study, from the lab of Michael Chez (Sutter Institute for Medical Research, California, USA), establishes the safety of the process and the potential for this treatment to affect socialization. However, the authors highlight the need for additional tightly controlled trials to further progress the study of AUCB as an autism treatment.

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: Role of LSCs and their Niche in Treatment Response

A new review article in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine from the lab of Romano Danesi (University of Pisa, Italy) has focused on how leukemic stem cells (LSCs) and their niche respond to pharmacological treatment, with a specific focus on chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The authors describe current research into LSC-specific targets and novel drugs able to eradicate LSCs, as well as the abnormal signaling pathways and genetic/epigenetic alterations that contribute to LSC deregulation, the development and progression of CML, and drug resistance.

NFIX Promotes Survival of Hematopoietic Cells

Recent research from the lab of Shannon McKinney-Freeman (St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, USA) indicated a role for nuclear factor I/X (NFIX) in the post/transplant survival of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). Now, their new STEM CELLS report establishes that NFIX functions by upregulating the c‐Mpl thrombopoietin receptor when HSPCs are under stress. Hall et al. hope that understanding the molecular mechanisms governing HPSC survival, proliferation, and differentiation will prove crucial for clinical applications such as ex vivo expansion and transplantation of HSPCs.

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!