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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - MSC Homeostasis, Transplantable Photoreceptors, CD133 link to Lipid Rafts, and Polycystin‐2 Role in Autophagy!

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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!

Oral Microbiota Balance Maintains Mesenchymal Stem Cell Homeostasis

While imbalances in our oral microbiota lead to the development of several periodontal and related diseases, the effect of such imbalances on oral mesenchymal stem cells (from the gingiva) remain relatively unknown. However, researchers from the laboratory of Yi Liu (Capital Medical University, Beijing, PR China) now demonstrate that antibiotic treatment, and the subsequent loss of the oral microbiota, promotes oral MSC deficiency and delayed wound healing in model mice. See STEM CELLS for all the details.

Transplantable Photoreceptors from cGMP iPSCs

The replacement of light-sensing retinal photoreceptors with cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) represents one of the most fast moving stem cell therapies. Researchers from the lab of Deepak A. Lamba (Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Novato, California, USA) have now combined a human iPSC line derived under current Good Manufacture Practice (cGMP)-compliant conditions with a small molecule-based retinal induction protocol to generate clinically relevant retinal cells. Encouragingly, subretinal transplantation of the iPSC-derived cells into immunodeficient host mouse eyes led to photoreceptor layer integration and development into mature photoreceptors. See STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now for all the details.

CD133 and Lipid Rafts

A review from the laboratory of Denis Corbeil (Technische Universität Dresden, Germany) hopes to gain the attention of any study employing the cell surface antigen prominin-1 (or CD133) as a marker for normal and cancer stem cells. Karbanová et al. discuss the association of CD133 with membrane microdomains known as lipid rafts and how this relates to proper immunodetection, the use of detergents, and the subsequent interpretation of results. See STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now for a thought-provoking read!

Role of Polycystin‐2 in Mediating Autophagy

Researchers investigating the role of the Polycystin‐2 (PKD2) gene in autophagy, a process essential for cell survival under stressful conditions, recently turned to human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hESC-CMs) for some answers. This new STEM CELLS study from the laboratory of Xiaoqiang Yao (Chinese University of Hong Kong) establishes that polycystin‐2 promotes autophagy and reduces apoptotic death under glucose starvation via the modulation of AMPK and mTOR activity.

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!