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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – MSC and Myeloid Progenitors, MSC Vascular Potential, Down syndrome iPSCs from Urine, and Treating Kidney Injury!

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

MSCs, MPCs, and Inflammation

While mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) possess potent immunomodulatory capabilities, affecting inflammatory myeloid cells such as macrophages and neutrophils, their effects on myeloid progenitor cells (MPCs) remain unknown. Now, a new study from Sunil Chauhan (Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA) demonstrates that MSCs inhibit differentiation of MPCs under inflamed conditions through cell to cell contact mediated by a CD200-CD200R1 interaction, and thereby reduce inflammation. Can we use this information to specifically regulate innate immune responses at the early stages; see STEM CELLS now to find out!

Identifying MSCs with Vascular Regenerative Potential

Aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) protects long-lived cells against oxidative stress and the lab of David A. Hess (University of Western Ontario, ON, Canada) hoped that they could use levels of ALDH activity as a marker of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) with enhanced regenerative potential. Their new STEM CELLS study now establishes that MSCs selected for high ALDH-activity displayed enhanced pro-angiogenic secretory functions and may be highly utile in vascular regenerative therapies. Cool finding!

Down Syndrome iPSCs Generated from Urine

Modelling Down Syndrome using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) represents a promising means to model the disorder caused by trisomy 21 (T21). An exciting study from the lab of Alberto Costa (Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, USA) has recently described the generation of Down syndrome iPSCs using episomal vectors and epithelial cells isolated from patient urine samples. This generates iPSCs in a non-invasive and effective manner and the authors suggest that their method may be extended to the modelling of other neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders and to cell-based platforms for high-throughput drug screening. See STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now for all the details.

Non-engrafting Kidney-Derived Cells Ameliorate Kidney Injury

CD133+ human kidney cells can ameliorate renal injury following intravenous administration in rodent models of kidney disease and the lab of Bettina Wilm (University of Liverpool, United Kingdom) sought to understand just how they managed this feat in a new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study. Interestingly, Santeramo et al have demonstrated that CD133+ cells do not home to the kidneys and generate specialized renal cells. Instead, the study suggests that paracrine or endocrine factors may induce kidney repair. Identifying the helpful factors could be the next step towards a cell-free renal injury treatment.

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!