Stem cells from fat outperform those from bone marrow in fighting disease
Durham, NC — A new study appearing in the current issue of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine indicates that stem cells harvested from fat (adipose) are more potent than those collected from bone marrow in helping to modulate the body’s immune system.
The finding could have significant implications in developing new stem-cell-based therapies, as adipose tissue-derived stem cells (AT-SCs) are far more plentiful in the body than those found in bone marrow and can be collected from waste material from liposuction procedures. Stem cells are considered potential therapies for a range of conditions, from enhancing skin graft survival to treating inflammatory bowel disease.
Researchers convert human skin cells into embryonic stem cells
May 2013 — Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University and the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) have successfully reprogrammed human skin cells to become embryonic stem cells capable of transforming into any other cell type in the body.
The research, led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D., a senior scientist at ONPRC, follows previous success in transforming monkey skin cells into embryonic stem cells in 2007. The study was published early online May 15 in Cell.
Study sheds new light on how stem cells help repair injuries to brain and spinal cord
May 2013 — Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have discovered that a group of stem cells in the brain remain highly dynamic, even in adults, and can transform into cells that insulate nerve fibers and help form scars that aid in tissue repair.
Their work sheds light on how these multipurpose stem cells — called oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) — communicate with each other to maintain a highly regular, grid-like distribution throughout the brain and spinal cord.
New stem cell growth strategy could yield better way to treat brain lesions
Durham, NC — Researchers have found a new way to increase the survival of stem cells injected into the brain. The discovery might one day prove useful in developing new treatments for neurological disorders — especially brain lesions, which among other things can provoke seizures and indicate multiple sclerosis or certain forms of cancer.
The study was performed by Sushma Chaubey, Ph.D., and John H. Wolfe, V.M.D., Ph.D., of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia’s Research Institute and the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. It appears in the current issue of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.
Reduced oxygen levels could double neural stem cells’ chance of survival
Durham, NC — Decreasing the amount of oxygen traditionally used when culturing stem cells for use in neurological therapies could drastically affect their survival rate. In fact, it could double it, according to a new study released today in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.
“Cells are usually cultured in the lab in a 20 percent oxygen environment, a level far removed from the in vivo situation. This is particularly true in the central nervous system, where oxygen tensions — that is, the concentration of oxygen at a specific pressure — are normally around 3 percent,” said Sybil Stacpoole, M.D., Ph.D., lead author on the paper by a team of researchers from the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh.
Stem cell-engineered artificial trachea gives toddler new lease on life
May 2013 — A toddler born with a rare, fatal congenital abnormality in which her trachea failed to develop has been given a new lease on life after receiving an artificial trachea last month that was grown in the lab from stem cells.
Discovery of age-reversing protein could lead to effective heart failure treatment
May 2013 — Researchers have identified a protein in the blood of mice and humans that may prove to be the first effective treatment for the form of age-related heart failure that affects millions of Americans.
Stem cell researchers move toward treatment for rare nerve disease
May 2013 — Researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have used induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to advance disease-in-a-dish modeling of a rare genetic disorder called ataxia telangiectasia (A-T). Their discovery may lead to effective new treatments for the neurodegenerative disease.
Hot Off the Press
|Stable Pluripotent Intermediate Lines Established|
Original article from STEM CELLS
“Clonal Isolation of an Intermediate Pluripotent Stem Cell State”
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) established from preimplantation embryos, and epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs) established from postimplantation embryos, represent two different cell types which have the ability to self-renew and are pluripotent (Brons et al, Evans and Kaufman and Tesar et al) but are sustained using different pathways. Recently observed heterogeneity in ESC cultures (Hayashi et al and Toyooka et al) suggests that some cells may exist in a metastable state, somewhere between an ESC and EpiSC state, although a stable cell line of this sort has never been established. Now, a study published in Stem Cells, Chang and Li from Imperial College London, United Kingdom and Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan reports the successful establishment of clonal intermediate pluripotent lines from ESCs providing a means to better understand multiple pluripotent states.
|Tracking Reprogramming Highlights Novel Hallmarks|
Original article from STEM CELLS
“Dynamic Migration and Cell-Cell Interactions of Early Reprogramming Revealed by High-Resolution Time-Lapse Imaging”
The creation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from somatic cells is generally a long process with only a few rare cells undergoing the reprogramming process (Hanna et al). For this reason, analysis of the early stages of reprogramming is difficult and our knowledge about this stage remains scarce. Time-lapse microscopy has been used previously to define early events (Araki et al, Chan et al and Smith et al) but is hampered by problems; long imaging intervals, the identification of which cell to track, slow reprogramming kinetics and the nature of monitoring pluripotent colonies. Now researchers from the laboratory of Shangqin Guo at Yale University School of Medicine, Connecticut, USA have described a method to overcome these problems and through this have identified a novel two-cell intermediate which manifests before other reprogramming landmarks (Megyola et al).
|Genome Stability Key to Efficient Reprogramming and Differentiation|
Original article from STEM CELLS
“HPSC Models of Fanconi Anemia Deficiency Reveal an Important Role for Fanconi Anemia Proteins in Cellular Reprogramming and Survival of Hematopoietic Progenitors”
Fanconi anemia (FA) is caused by mutations in replication-dependant repair genes and while several mouse models with targeted deletions have been studied, (Cheng et al, Haneline et al 1998, Haneline et al 1999, and Wong et al) they do not faithfully recapitulate the human forms of disease. The generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from somatic cells with FA gene mutations is a possible alternative method of studying FA disease progression (Müller et al and Raya et al), and now in a study published in Stem Cells, researchers from the group of Majlinda Lako at the Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, UK, report on the derivation of iPSCs from FA patients and their hematopoietic differentiation (Yung and Tilgner et al).
|Damage Removal by Alternate Proteasome in ESCs|
“Removal of damaged proteins during ES cell fate specification requires the proteasome activator PA28”
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have been shown to contain relatively high levels of ‘damaged’ proteins such as carbonylated proteins (Hernebring et al 2006), which are eliminated upon differentiation and are also observed to accumulate in aging cells, (Hernebring et al 2006). Additionally, immunoproteasome subunit expression, required for the production of peptide antigens for display by antigen-presenting cells (Strehl et al) has been noted to be significantly altered during ESC differentiation (Atkinson and Collin et al), suggesting that the specific proteasomal subunits may be dynamically regulated during ESC self-renewal and differentiation. Now, in Scientific Reports, researchers from the laboratory of Thomas Nyström at the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden have shown that damaged protein removal during ESC differentiation is associated with the induction of the proteasome activator PA28, normally associated with the immunoproteasome (Hernebring et al).
|Modelling AD in iPSCs Provides Therapeutic Clues|
“Modeling Alzheimer’s Disease with iPSCs Reveals Stress Phenotypes Associated with Intracellular Aß and Differential Drug Responsiveness”
Oligomerisation of amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) leading to amyloid plaques in the brain is thought to play a role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in humans (Kuo et al, Noguchi et al and Shankar et al) but the mechanism involved is still unclear. Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology now provides a means to study the development of this disease and the effects of Aβ oligomers and will also allow for the screening of therapeutic drugs. To this end, researchers from the laboratory of Nobuhisa Iwata and Haruhisa Inoue have reported the derivation and neuronal/astroglial differentiation of iPSCs derived from patients carrying various AD-associated genetic mutations, and have found that Aβ oligomers are not proteolytically resistant and that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) treatment attenuated cellular stress phenotypes of AD neural cells containing Aβ oligomers (Kondo et al).