Skeletal muscle decellularization allows the generation of natural scaffolds that retain the extracellular matrix mechanical integrity, biological activity, and three‐dimensional (3D) architecture of the native tissue.
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Summaries of the most recent articles published in STEM CELLS and STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.
Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy represents a promising option for the treatment of steroid‐refractory chronic graft‐vs‐host disease (cGvHD); however, we lack clinical trial data, and the mechanisms of action remain unknown.
Interpretation of observed change in a continuous outcome measure as preliminary evidence of efficacy in the setting of an uncontrolled trial can lead to erroneous conclusions due to the effect of regression to the mean.
Recent advances in single‐cell transcriptomics are paving the way for a comprehensive understanding of disease modeling in terms of cellular complexity and dysregulated genes/signaling pathways.
The unique properties of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have made them an exciting resource for the treatment of a range of human conditions, including degenerative and inflammatory diseases, tissue damage, and cancer.
Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy represents a promising option for the treatment of steroid‐refractory chronic graft‐vs‐host disease (cGvHD); however, we lack clinical trial data, and the mechanisms of action remain unknown. Now, researchers led by Katarina Le Blanc (Karolinska Institutet/Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden) report on a new trial of 11 patients with severe, refractory cGvHD treated with repeated infusions of MSCs. Reporting in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, Boberg et al. established that six patients displayed reductions in disease severity and doses of immunosuppression as well as improved quality of life, thereby suggesting MSCs as a feasible treatment option. Furthermore, the study also discovered biomarkers that could predict responsiveness to treatment after the first MSC infusion but several months before observed clinical improvements.
A concise review article published recently in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine from Marcin Majka and Bogna Badyra (Jagiellonian University Medical College, Cracow, Poland) summarizes the results of preclinical and clinical trials in neurological diseases of different etiologies. Their review focuses on possible mechanisms of action of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) but also discusses approaches to augment their effects.
Interpretation of observed change in a continuous outcome measure as preliminary evidence of efficacy in the setting of an uncontrolled trial can lead to erroneous conclusions due to the effect of regression to the mean. Evidence from single‐arm trials that assess efficacy through serial evaluation of continuous outcomes should not be employed to make decisions about pursuing further research or to guide treatment selection. A new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article from Jesse D. Troy (Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina, USA) provides a refresher on regression to the mean for investigators designing early phase clinical trials in cell therapy. Furthermore, this fascinating article evaluates the potential for regression to the mean to have influenced conclusions drawn from recently conducted phase I cell therapy trials.
A recent study led by Derrick C. Wan (Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA) described the in vitro and in vivo antifibrotic qualities of CD74-expressing adipose‐derived stem cells. Borrelli et al. believe that these cells may play a significant role in future strategies that address fibrotic remodeling following radiation exposure. For all the details, head over to STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now!
Recent advances in single‐cell transcriptomics are paving the way for a comprehensive understanding of disease modeling in terms of cellular complexity and dysregulated genes/signaling pathways. Researchers led by Iqbal Ahmad (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA) applied this approach to the generation of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) from SIX6 risk allele glaucoma patient‐specific and healthy control induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Reporting in a recent STEM CELLS study, Teotia et al. found evidence for a flawed developmental trajectory in disease-specific iPSCs with immature and deficient subtype specification due to dysregulated mTOR and Notch signaling pathways. These findings shed light on the fidelity of RGC generation in vitro and the influence of the glaucoma risk allele on RGC development and subtype specification that may make RGCs susceptible to glaucomatous degeneration.
The unique properties of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have made them an exciting resource for the treatment of a range of human conditions, including degenerative and inflammatory diseases, tissue damage, and cancer. Now, a new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine review article from the labs of Tullio Florio and Federica Barbieri (University of Genova, Italy) discuss recent findings from preclinical studies on MSCs in oncology as a source of soluble factors and extracellular vesicles with a specific focus on the interactions between MSCs and glioblastoma. As MSCs can promote or suppress tumor growth, they act as a double‐edged sword in the glioblastoma model, as in other tumor types. Additionally, Bajetto et al. also discuss the research required to explore and define MSCs before their clinical translation as useful, safe tools for future anticancer approaches.
A new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article from the lab of Derrick C. Wan (Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA) recently reported on the identification of an adipose‐derived mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) subpopulation that expressed the surface marker CD146 and elevated levels of proangiogenic genes and possessed an enhanced capacity to induce endothelial‐tube formation. Borrelli et al. discovered that upon transplantation, CD146-positive adipose MSCs underwent less resorption and displayed improved histologic quality and vascularization. Overall, the authors believe they have identified a subpopulation of adipose MSCs with enhanced angiogenic effects in vitro and in vivo, and that enriching lipoaspirates with CD146-positive adipose MSCs may enhance fat graft vascularization and retention in the clinical setting.
Although the systemic administration of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) ameliorates lung inflammation and attenuates fibrosis in experimental silicosis, MSC therapy fails to reverse collagen deposition and granuloma formation. Now, a new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article from the lab of Patricia R. M. Rocco (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) reports on an MSC magnetization protocol using citrate functionalized magnetic nanoparticles that kept cells viable and endowed them with magnetic responsivity. Silva et al. demonstrate that a more significant number of MSCs remained in the lungs with the aid of magnets, and this associated with enhanced beneficial effects for the treatment of silicosis in mice. Overall, magnetic targeting may be a promising strategy for the enhancement of MSC‐based cell therapies for chronic lung diseases.
The limited numbers of cord blood hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) collected at birth remains a critical limiting factor in the use of cord blood for HSC transplantation. Now, researchers led by Hal E. Broxmeyer and Maegan L. Capitano (Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA) demonstrate that collecting and processing cord blood at 4°C leads to the attainment of significantly enhanced numbers of cord blood HSCs. For more about this simple and cost‐effective strategy, see STEM CELLS now!
Patients with refractory angina who are suboptimal candidates for further revascularization display improved exercise time, decreased angina frequency, and reduced major adverse cardiac events following the intramyocardial delivery of CD34+ stem cells; however, the effect of CD34+ stem cell therapy on health care expenditures after treatment remains unclear. In a new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article, researchers led by Jay H. Traverse (University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA) report on their determination of the effect of CD34+ stem cell therapy on cardiac‐related hospital visits and costs during the 12 months following stem cell injection compared with the 12 months before injection. Overall, Johnson et al. provide evidence that CD34+ stem cell therapy for patients with refractory angina associates with improved mortality, a reduction in hospital visits, and lower expenditures for cardiac procedures in the year following treatment.