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Highlights of current exciting developments, ranging from research papers to court decisions to industry regulations

January 14, 2019

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!

Past Buzz

January 6,2019 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Appraising iPSC Clinical Translation, Reviewing Periodontal Regeneration, Knee Osteoarthritis MSC Trial, and Changing mESC Bioenergetics!

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!

Reviewing the Clinical Translation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

A new review article out of the laboratory of Nico Lachmann (Hannover Medical School, Germany) provides a brief overview of the recent developments and challenges faced during the progression of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived blood cells to clinical translation. While examples of the clinical transfer of iPSC‐derived hematopoietic cells remain few, this great new article from Haake et al. describes the advances made in hematopoietic differentiation of iPSCs and provides a current perspective on GMP‐compliant cell production. See STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now to keep up to date!

Periodontal Regeneration via Stem Cell Therapy: A Concise Review

Our second review article, this time from the laboratories of Fa‐Ming Chen and Hai‐Hua Sun (Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, PR China) provides a summary of stem cell-based regenerative approaches used for the periodontal tissue regeneration. Xu et al. believe that research efforts should concentrate on making cell therapy and tissue engineering more practical and economical, as well as safer, in the hope of facilitating the translation of ex vivo manipulated stem cells into clinical use. For more, head over to STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.

Trialing Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Knee Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, the principle musculoskeletal disorder in adults, suffers from a lack of treatments that provide more than light relief. However, a new trial led by Francisco Espinoza (Universidad de los Andes, Santiago, Chile) has now shown that umbilical cord‐derived mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) represent a safe and potentially effective means to treat knee arthritis. Given that UC-MSCs represent a highly accessible allogeneic cell source, Matas et al. believe that their regenerative potential will soon be demonstrated in larger trials, with the hope of developing this approach into a simple, scalable, cell‐based therapy open to repeated applications with no need for invasive surgical procedures. Read all the details at STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.

 

The Changing Bioenergetic Profiles of Differentiating Murine ESCs

A new study from researcher led by Helene Boeuf (University of Bordeaux, France) now reports their findings regarding the critical metabolic changes occurring as mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) pass from pluripotency to differentiation. Vlaski‐Lafarge et al. report that while self-renewing mESCs and early differentiating mESCs employ both oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis, they soon transit to a mainly glycolytic state 48 hours after differentiation. For more details on this crucial aspect of mESC biology, look no further than STEM CELLS.

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!

December 27,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Retinal Organoids, iPSC-derived MSCs, Kit Expression, and Testicular Injury Treatment!

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!

Single cell RNA‐Sequencing of hESC-derived Retinal Organoids

A STEM CELLS study out of the lab of Majlinda Lako (Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom) recently applied single-cell sequencing technologies to analyze retinal organoids generated from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). In their new study, Collin et al. report on the sequential emergence of multiple retinal cell types during the differentiation time course, and highlight their method as an exciting means to identify multiple cell types arising within complex organoids, enabling detailed molecular and temporal systematic studies and close comparisons between in vitro derived tissues and in vivo organogenesis.

Reviewing Human Pluripotent Cell-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

While the application of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as a treatment option for a range of diseases and disorders grows with each passing day, problems related to their supply, purity, and homogeneity remain. Do MSCs derived from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) represent the way forward? In a new STEM CELLS review, researchers from the labs of Ren‐He Xu (University of Macau, Taipa, Macau, China) and Yingcui Li (University of Hartford, West Hartford, Connecticut, USA) now summarize the progress on PSC-derived MSCs and discusses perspectives and challenges for their potential translation to the clinic.

Kit Growth Factor Receptor in Embryo and Embryonic Stem Cell Development

In the hope of dissecting the role of the Kit growth factor receptor in pluripotency, researchers led by Susanna Dolci (Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy) assessed expression levels during mouse embryogenesis and the process of embryonic stem cell derivation. Todaro et al. demonstrate that Kit expression commences in the morula stage and is maintained in the cells of the inner cell mass (ICM), with Kit levels increasing further under ground state culture conditions. Furthermore, the team discovered that Sox2 controls Kit expression in ESCs and that Kit might regulate ESC proliferation. Discover all the details at STEM CELLS now!

Administration of Stromal Vascular Fraction Attenuates Testicular Injury

Torsion‐detorsion‐induced testicular injury can impair male fertility, and a recent study has underlined the potential for stem cell-based treatments that can attenuate testicular injury and promote spermatogenesis. In their STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article, researchers from the lab of Ruipeng Jia (Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, PR China) establish that autologous uncultured adipose‐derived stromal vascular fraction (SVF) cells can protect the testis from testicular injury and promote spermatogenesis in model rats with a torsion‐detorsion‐induced testicular injury.

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!

December 16,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Corneal Stem/Progenitor Cell Regulation, Progenitor Cell Muscle Healing, Reviewing the Perivascular ECM, and Granulocyte/Macrophage Progenitor Proliferation!

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!

Delineating the Regulation of Corneal Stem/Progenitor Cells

Previous studies have indicated a role for the SOX2 and P63 transcription factors in corneal epithelial regeneration, with P63 described as a critical regulator of limbal stem cells (LSCs). New research from the lab of Ruby Shalom‐Feuerstein (Technion ‐ Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel) now establishes that SOX2 regulates P63 to control corneal epithelial stem/progenitor cell function. Bhattacharya et al. hope that their findings will provide for a better understanding of disease mechanisms involving mutations in SOX2 and P63 and contribute towards novel therapeutic approaches to restore vision. Head over to STEM CELLS now to see all the fine print.

The Role of Muscle Progenitor Cells in Enhanced Muscle Healing

The enhanced regenerative capacity of the so-called “super‐healing” Murphy Roths Large mouse makes it a prime candidate for the study of the molecular and cellular mechanisms at play during tissue regeneration. Researchers from the labs of Aiping Lu and Johnny Huard (The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, TX, USA) recently employed this model to demonstrate how the enhanced function of muscle progenitor cells (MPCs) permitted improvements in muscle repair. Tseng et al. also highlighted the importance of elevated levels of antioxidants to muscle repair, suggesting that the modulation of anti-oxidative stress may represent a novel therapy to improve muscle healing after injury, disease, and aging. See STEM CELLS now for all the exciting details.

Reviewing the Role of Endothelial Cell-Extracellular Matrix in Homeostasis and Repair

A concise review from the lab of Ton J. Rabelink (Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands) hopes to describe how perivascular extracellular matrix (ECM) can function as a platform for the mechano‐, growth factor-, and angiocrine-signaling required for tissue homeostasis and organ repair. Witjas et al. believe that this information may impact the field of regenerative medicine, for example, when designing artificial matrices or applying decellularized scaffolds from organs. Discover more on this fascinating subject at STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.

Integrin β2 and Granulocyte/Macrophage Progenitor Proliferation

Previous studies from the lab of Ying‐Mei Feng (Capital Medical University, Beijing, China) reported that Integrin β2 loss might skew the differentiation of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells towards the myeloid lineage. Now, the team returns to demonstrate that Integrin β2 deficiency promotes the proliferation of granulocyte/macrophage progenitors (GMPs) and the production of myeloid cells via FcεRIα/IgE‐induced JNK phosphorylation. For more details on this new study from Zhang et al., make your way over to STEM CELLS 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!

December 13,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Letter to the Editor, GPCR boost to Pluripotency, Platelet Engrafting Progenitors, and Generating Dopaminergic Neurons!

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!

Letter to the Editor – Reply to “Long‐Term Engraftment of Myoblasts in a Human Infarcted Heart”

In a Letter the Editor, Daniel Skuk and Jacques P. Tremblay (Research Center of the CHU de Quebec, Quebec, Canada) reply to a recent clinical report in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine. In this letter, the team wished to highlight the importance of the report findings (the persistence of myotubes in an infarct area 16 years after injection) towards a potential treatment of skeletal muscle degenerative disorders, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy. For more information on how myotube persistence in this patient may be a “stimulant for the field of regenerative medicine in the skeletal muscle”, see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now!

The Role of the EDG5 G Protein-coupled Receptor Effector in Pluripotency

A recent study from the lab of Majlinda Lako (Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK) recently assessed for critical factors involved in the initiation phase of reprogramming to pluripotency via a high‐throughput short interfering RNA screening assay. Neganova et al. highlighted six G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) as effectors during early programming and examined the role for one of these effectors, EDG5 (S1P2). Interestingly, EDG5 downregulation in hESCs or during the initiation period of iPSC reprogramming inhibited maintenance/attainment of pluripotent colonies due to defects in cytoskeleton organization and focal adhesions. For more on a brand new pluripotency-associated factor, head over to STEM CELLS now!

Osteoblast Condition Medium Promotes Platelet Engrafting Progenitors

Previous studies established that osteoblast condition medium (OCM) could enhance the ability of blood progenitors to boost cell growth and increase levels of human platelets (hPLT) in transplanted mice. Now, a STEM CELLS report from the group of Nicolas Pineault (Canadian Blood Services, Ottawa, Canada) demonstrates that OCM strongly modulates the growth of umbilical cord blood stem and progenitor cells through activation of insulin‐like growth factor‐1 receptor and the subsequent activation of the beta‐catenin/TCF transcriptional activation complex. Overall, Abu‐Khader et al. propose that OCM-derived factors can significantly enhance the platelet engrafting activity of progenitors in culture.

Systematic Evaluation of Protocols to Generate Dopaminergic Neurons

With each passing week, another differentiation protocol for an already described cell type reaches publication; yet, these methodologies rarely see reuse beyond the reporting laboratory. To discover why, Rebecca Marton and John P. A. Ioannidis (Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA) systematically evaluated over 150 publications (2004‐2017) that differentiated human stem cells into dopaminergic neurons. The duo established that of the 74 novel or modified protocols developed, 65% were never employed again in subsequent studies; furthermore, they discovered improvement over time in the yield of neuron production, but not in yield of dopaminergic neurons or time required for differentiating neurons. To discover how to consider the effectiveness and utility of newly developed protocols, head over to STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.

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!

December 10,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Stem Cell Mobilization, Skeletal Stem Cell Migration, Suicide System for Stem Cell Therapy, and Cystic Fibrosis Cell Therapy!

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!

Chemotactic Tripeptide-Induced Mobilization of Angiogenic Stem Cells

A new study from the lab of Jae Ho Kim (Pusan National University School of Medicine, Yangsan, Republic of Korea) recently sought to understand how a collagen‐derived chemotactic tripeptide (Ac-PGP) mobilizes circulating angiogenic cells (CACs) from the bone marrow to contribute to the treatment of peripheral artery diseases. Employing a murine hindlimb ischemia model, Kwon et al. discovered that Ac-PGP stimulated blood perfusion and prevented limb amputation by promoting the mobilization of CACs through a CXCR2‐dependent mechanism. For more details on how this knowledge could lead to CAC‐mediated therapy for peripheral artery diseases, see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now!

TAFA2 Neurokine Induces Skeletal Stem Cell Migration

Researchers from the lab of Abbas Jafari and Moustapha Kassem (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) hope to create a fuller understanding of the recruitment of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) to sites of tissue injury in order to develop more advanced regenerative therapies. In their new study, the team now demonstrate that the elevated expression of TAFA2, a recently discovered neurokine involved in neuronal cell migration and neurite outgrowth, at sites of skeletal fracture induces hMSC migration through activation of Rac1/p38 signaling. For more on the relevance of TAFA2 to regenerative medicine applications, see STEM CELLS now!

Suicide System in hiPSC-Neural Stem/Progenitor Therapy

The differentiation and transplantation of pluripotent derived cells carries a risk of tumorigenesis due to the presence of contaminating undifferentiated cells. Researchers from the labs of Hideyuki Okano and Masaya Nakamura (Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan) recently introduced the herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase (HSVtk) gene into a human induced pluripotent stem cell‐derived neural stem/progenitor cell (hiPSC‐NS/PC) line known to undergo tumorigenic transformation. Encouragingly, the HSVtk system ablated all immature proliferating cells and permitted transplanted hiPSC‐NS/PC derivatives to safely return motor function to mice with injured spinal cords. Discover more at STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now!

Cell Therapy for Cystic Fibrosis Lung Disease

Previous studies from the lab of Susan D. Reynolds (Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA) that around 60 million human basal cells may be required to repopulate the human airway epithelium as a means to treat cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. The team now return with a new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article in which they compare the proliferation potential of non‐CF and CF tissue‐derived bronchial basal cells. Overall, Hayes Jr. et al. demonstrate that non‐CF and CF basal cell proliferation is similar, CF basal cells can be amplified to a therapeutic cell dose, and amplified non‐CF and CF basal cell clones differentiate normally. However, cell amplification can deplete the regenerative basal cell pool. Overall, the authors hope that their findings will raise the possibility of cell therapy for CF.

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!

December 2,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - MSC-Mediated Polarization, Adherent Vitrification of hiPSCs, Validation of cGMP hPSCs, and cSrc-mediated Endoderm Commitment!

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!

Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Mediated Polarization Limits Carcinogenesis

A recent study from Alain Chapel (Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire, France) and Annette K. Larsen (Sorbonne Université, Paris, France) sought to determine the influence of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy on the progression of solid tumors by analyzing an immunocompetent rat model of human colorectal carcinogenesis. François et al. discovered that the transient presence of MSCs in the colon tissue of treated animals could inhibit cancer development by modulating the immune component of the tumor microenvironment, even one year after the last MSC administration. For all the details, see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.

Adherent Vitrification of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and their Neural Derivatives

The efficient cryopreservation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) represents an enormous challenge in research and regenerative medicine; however, a recent STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study tested whether a new method could improve immediate post‐thawing applicability. Researchers from the labs of Beate Winner (Friedrich‐Alexander‐Universität, Erlangen‐Nürnberg) and Julia C. Neubauer (Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Sulzbach, Germany) that ultra‐fast cooling by adherent vitrification in the TWIST substrate (a device combining cultivation, vitrification, storage, and post‐thawing cultivation) improved direct post‐thaw applicability of hiPSCs as well as their neural derivatives. Kaindl et al. hope that their new method can be transferred to current stem cell research and can make large‐scale experiments more efficient and comparable.

Validation of Current Good Manufacturing Practice Pluripotent Stem Cells for Liver Therapy

Researchers from the lab of S. Tamir Rashid (King's College London, United Kingdom) recently sought to assess the production of hepatocytes from validated current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) human pluripotent stem cells for treatment of patients with liver disease. In their article, Blackford et al. report that employing a chemically defined four‐step hepatic differentiation protocol reproducibly and uniformly generated cells with advanced hepatic function potentially suitable for future therapeutic applications. For more on this first of its kind study, head over to STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now!

Critical role of c-Src in Human Endoderm Commitment of iPSCs

Research led by Yoon‐Young Jang (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA) recently aimed to define vital molecular mediators in human liver development by testing tyrosine kinases inhibitors during hepatic differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Chaudhari et al. discovered the importance for the c‐Src protein kinase in endoderm formation: transient alteration of c‐Src activity in the early stage of liver development resulted in abnormal fibrotic‐biliary cells resembling those observed in patients with biliary fibrosis. For more on an advance that may provide a basis for establishing human‐specific experimental systems for assessing abnormal liver development, see STEM CELLS 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!

November 25,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Fibrous Dysplasia Regulation, Allergic Asthma, Brain Neurogenesis, and MSC Adipo-osteogenesis!

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!

HDAC8 Pathway Regulates the Fibrous Phenotype Dysplasia

Bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs) in patients suffering from fibrous dysplasia (FD) display osteogenic defects, and we currently lack targeted therapeutic strategies. Researchers from the laboratory of Hongbing Jiang (Nanjing Medical University, Jiangsu Province, China) compared normal- and FD-BMSCs, discovering a significant role for the cAMP‐CREB1‐HDAC8 pathway in regulating biological characteristics of FD-BMSCs. Xiao et al. also noted that HDAC8 inhibition leads to significant therapeutic effects in an in vitro experimental model of FD and nude mice implanted with FD-BMSCs. For more, see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now!

Therapeutic Effects of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Allergic Asthma

New research from the lab of Patricia R.M. Rocco (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) recently assessed the ability of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid or serum from asthmatic mice to prime mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the hope of improving their immunomodulatory properties in asthma treatment. In their new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article, Abreu et al. used a house dust mite extract asthma mouse model to demonstrate that serum-exposed MSCs promoted the most significant reduction of inflammation and remodeling and the greatest improvement in lung function. The authors suggest that these positive findings may provide a platform for future clinical trials in patients with asthma.

Systemic Factors drive Brain Neurogenesis via Notch Ligand DLL4

New research from the lab of Lorraine Iacovitti (Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA) recently reported that the leaky blood-brain barrier (BBB) in niches of the intact and stroke brain could respond to circulating VEGF165 to drive neural stem cell (NSC) activation and neurogenesis via the induction of the DLL4 Notch ligand in endothelial cells and pericytes. Lin et al. establish that enhanced DLL4-notch signaling and crosstalk between vasculature cells and NSCs regulates the activities of NSCs when triggered by systemic stroke-induced factors. For more details, see STEM CELLS now!

Smad4-Taz axis in Adipo-osteogenesis of Mesenchymal Stem Cells

In a new study assessing the factors that promote the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), researchers from the laboratory of Seok Hee Park (Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, South Korea) have highlighted the importance of the Smad4‐Taz axis in adipo‐osteogenesis. In their new study, Park et al. demonstrated that Smad4 plays a crucial role in the regulation of lineage commitment of MSCs, including human adipose tissue-derived stem cells (hASCs), into osteoblasts and adipocytes through modulating the retention of TAZ in the nucleus during MSC differentiation. Discover more at STEM CELLS 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!

November 18,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Immunomodulatory MSCs, MSC Single-Cell Transcriptomics, OSC-mediated Facial Nerve Regeneration, and Islet Transplant in T1D!

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!

Immunomodulatory Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Humanized Mice

Contradictory clinical trial data and our incomplete grasp of immunosuppressive mechanisms represent significant obstacles in the widespread therapeutic application of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Now, a review article from the lab of Vera J. Mehler (NIBSC, South Mimms, UK) discusses humanized mice as a tool to develop a better comprehension of the mode of action of MSCs in mitigating the immune response in an in-vivo environment that closely resembles human immunobiology. This new STEM CELLS article describes how greater understanding may enable and encourage more studies employing humanized mice to investigate the immunomodulatory features of MSCs.

Single-Cell Transcriptomics of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells

In order to better understand the age‐related impacts on bone marrow‐derived mesenchymal stem cell (BM‐MSC) function, researchers from the lab of Geoffrey C. Gurtner (Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA) compared wound healing in a xenograft model. Khong et al. discovered that younger BM-MSCs displayed higher expression of genes involved in tissue regeneration and this encouraged more rapid wound healing. Furthermore, this new STEM CELLS study also identified a unique, quiescent subpopulation exclusively present in young donor cells. Overall, the authors highlight a novel mechanism for the enhanced healing capacity of young stem cells, a finding that may have implications for autologous cell therapy in the elderly.

Olfactory Stem Cells with Hydrogel Accelerate Facial Nerve Regeneration

Researchers from the lab of Shinichi Esaki (Nagoya City University, Aichi, Japan) recently set out to test the ability of gelatin hydrogels to aid olfactory stem cells (OSCs) to treat facial nerve palsy. Reporting in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, the authors discovered that cotransplantation of OSCs with a biodegradable hydrogel sponge enhanced peripheral nerve function and increased the number of regenerated nerve fibers in an established facial nerve palsy mouse model. The team anticipates that their research will aid the application of human OSCs as a means to accelerating recovery after facial nerve injury.

Islet Transplant Lessons for Stem Cell Therapy for Type 1 Diabetes

By examining data and patterns in registered clinical islet transplant studies for the treatment of type 1 diabetes (T1D), a team led by Marie Csete (Caltech Medical Engineering, Pasadena, California, USA) hoped to extract insights to apply in the design of a pluripotent stem cell‐derived islet therapy. In their new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article, Welsch et al. report that while stem‐cell derived islets display the potential to treat a broader range of patients with type 1 diabetes than can be treated with current clinical protocols, the immunogenicity of allogeneic islets and the choice of optimal sites for transplantation remain open questions.

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!

November 15,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Reciprocal Reprogramming, Synthetic mRNAs, hESC-derived Retinal Pigment Epithelium, and Combination Cell Therapy for Cirrhosis!

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!

 

Reciprocal Reprogramming of Cancer Cells and Associated Mesenchymal Stem Cells 

The assessment of interactions between cancer stem cells (CSCs) and the stromal niche may improve our knowledge regarding the initiation and development of tumorigenesis. Now, researchers from the laboratory of Maty Tzukerman (Technion‐Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel) have provided evidence that human gastric cancer cells subvert gene expression and cytokine production in naïve mesenchymal stem cells to promote tumor progression through the maintenance of CSCs. Discover all the reciprocal reprogramming details at STEM CELLS now!

 

Synthetic mRNAs Drive Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Differentiation 

As a means to avoid the application of genome‐integrating viruses, researchers from the labs of Mingyao Ying (Kennedy Krieger, Baltimore, Maryland, USA) and Jianmin Zhang (Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China) investigated a new means to cells relevant for the treatment of neurological disorders. Xue et al. reported on the application of synthetic mRNAs coding proneural TFs to drive the rapid differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into midbrain dopaminergic neurons. See STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now to read more on a study that may facilitate Parkinson's disease modeling and therapy, and guide the development of robust methods for generating various lineage‐specific progenies from iPSCs.

 

Voltage-Gated Ca2+ Channels in Human Embryonic Stem Cell-derived Retinal Pigment Epithelium 

The therapeutic efficacy of human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived cells relies on their proper functionality. For this reason, researchers from the lab of Soile Nymark (Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland) set out to analyze the all-important voltage‐gated Ca2+ channels in hESC-derived retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Using Whole‐cell patch‐clamp recordings, Korkka et al. discovered that hESC-derived RPE and native RPE displayed similar levels of functional voltage‐gated Ca2+ channels, which helped to control vascular endothelial growth factor secretion as well as in the phagocytosis of photoreceptor outer segments. For all the details, see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine for more!

 

A Novel Stem Cell-Macrophage Combination Therapy for Cirrhosis

The development of novel therapeutic approaches for liver fibrosis regression and regeneration represent possible means to treat patients suffering from cirrhosis, a life‐threatening condition. To this end, researchers from the labs of Atsunori Tsuchiya and Shuji Terai (Niigata University, Chuo‐ku, Niigata, Japan) recently reported on a new cell-based combination therapy. In their recent study, the authors describe how bone marrow‐derived mesenchymal stem cells and colony‐stimulating factor‐1‐induced bone marrow‐derived macrophages work together to improve liver function and fibrosis by enhancing host endogenous regenerative responses. Will this study pave the way for new treatments for cirrhosis? Find the answer over at STEM CELLS Translational Medicine!

 

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!

November 11,2018 What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Regulating Neural Patterning, Cardiac Mesodermal Progenitors, iPSC Chondrogenesis with SMAD4, and Late Endothelial Progenitor Cells!

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!

GLIS3 Regulates Anterior-Posterior Patterning

While studies have established the importance of several morphogens in anterior-posterior (A‐P) neural patterning, the mechanisms that regulate said morphogens remains relatively unknown. Now, new research from the lab of Anton M. Jetten (National Institutes of Health, NC, USA) established an essential role for the Krüppel‐like zinc finger transcription factor GLI‐Similar 3 (GLIS3) in the direct differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into posterior neural progenitor cells (NPCs), rather than the default anterior pathway. In this STEM CELLS study, Jeon at al. also report the importance of GLIS3-mediated transcriptional activation of WNT genes, including the strong posteriorizing factor WNT3A, for A‐P specification.

SMAD4 and Human Cardiac Mesodermal Progenitors

In the hope of understanding the stage‐specific molecular mechanisms of human cardiomyocyte progenitor formation and subsequent differentiation, researchers from the lab of Kenneth R. Chien (Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden) recently defined the role of SMAD4 at the earliest stages of human cardiogenesis via the generation of SMAD4 mutant human embryonic stem cells (hESC). In summary, Xu et al. defined the role of SMAD4 at the earliest stages of human cardiogenesis, and the team anticipate that their findings will encourage research into human stem cell models of development and disease, treatments for congenital heart defects, and TGF beta signaling pathways. See STEM CELLS now for all the details.

 

Genome Editing for Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Chondrogenesis

As the low efficiency and variability of chondrogenesis in human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) represent a significant hurdle to their clinical application, researchers from the labs of Farshid Guilak (Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri) and Charles A. Gersbach (Duke University, Durham, NC, USA) sought to construct an improved differentiation protocol. In STEM CELLS, Adkar et al. now report on a highly efficient chondrogenic differentiation protocol via stepwise specification through a mesodermal lineage and the application of a genome‐engineered COL2A1‐GFP knock‐in hiPSC line to identify a purified progenitor population with improved chondrogenic potential. The team hopes that the development of processes for rapid and repeatable chondrogenic induction of iPSCs will enable the identification of novel therapies for joint diseases such as osteoarthritis.

B7-H3 in Late Endothelial Progenitor Cells

The isolation of late endothelial progenitor cells (LEPCs), circulating blood cells that can promote vascular repair, may represent an important cell type for the treatment of numerous conditions. Recent research from the lab of Je‐Yoel Cho (Seoul National University, Korea) discovered elevated cell surface expression of CD276 (B7‐H3) of LEPCs and its requirement for proliferation and migration. However, Son et al. established that this type I transmembrane glycoprotein inhibited endothelial cell differentiation, suggesting that B7‐H3 functions to maintain the cells in the progenitor stage. Overall, this STEM CELLS study indicates that B7‐H3 can be employed to acquire and maintain LEPCs, while blocking B7‐H3 promotes angiogenetic differentiation.

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!