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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Naming MSCs, NHIE Cell Therapy, mESCs go “Surfen”, and Promoting Tendon Differentiation with Fos!

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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!

Naming MSCs – The Battle Goes on!

A recent STEM CELLS Translational Medicine Perspective laid out the claim for mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to be renamed “medicinal signaling cells”, given their well-known paracrine actions. However, the laboratory of Donald G. Phinney (Scripps Research Institute, Florida, USA) refute this claim in a new STEM CELLS article. They argue that “the paracrine-centric viewpoint and proposed name change ignores a wealth of old and new data that unequivocally demonstrate the stem cell nature of MSCs, and also overlooks a large effort to exploit homologous applications of MSCs in human clinical trials”. Sounds like a fascinating read; what are you waiting for?

Comparing Cell Therapy Candidates for NHIE

Despite neuroprotection by therapeutic hypothermia, the perinatal complication neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (NHIE) suffers from poor neurological prognosis. In their search for a suitable cell therapy candidate for NHIE, the lab of Guillet Benjamin (Aix Marseille University, France) compared ready-to-use human umbilical cord blood cells (HUCBC) to bankable but allogeneic endothelial progenitors (ECFC). This new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study suggests that while “ECFCs represent an efficient candidate, HUCBC autologous criteria and easier availability make them the ideal candidate for hypoxic-ischemic cell therapy”.

Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells go “surfen” Towards Pluripotency

An interesting new STEM CELLS study from the lab of Kamil Godula (University of California San Diego, USA) suggests that the best way to maintain mouse embryonic stem cells (mESC) pluripotency is to go “surfen”! Specifically, Huang et al. describe how surfen, an antagonist of cell surface glycosaminoglycans required for growth factor association with cognate receptors, can inhibit differentiation and promote mESCpluripotency. The authors suggest that targeting the stem cell “glycome” with small molecules such a surfen to silence differentiation cues may represent an efficient means to control stem cell fate.

Early Stage Teno-Lineage Differentiation with Fos

Researchers from the lab of Hong Wei Ouyang and Xiao Chen (Zhejiang University, PR China) have uncovered a new factor that promotes the early differentiation towards a tendon fate. By studying postnatal rat Achilles tendon, Chen et al. discovered an early role for Fos expression and, furthermore, the team demonstrated that Fos overexpression in tendon stem/progenitor cells (TSPCs) boosted the expression of tendon markers and improved tendon formation in vivo. For all the fine print, see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now.

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!