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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Repolarizing Macrophages, Understanding CD133, Corneal transplantation, and Short Telomeres in CPCs!



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!

MSC Delivery of Interferon‐γ Repolarizes Macrophages

The pro-inflammatory cytokine interferon-gamma (IFNγ) can decrease tumor proliferation by altering the tumor microenvironment (TME); however, trials employing systemic administrations have failed and displayed detrimental side effects. For these reasons, researchers from the laboratory of Edwin M. Horwitz (Emory University, Atlanta, USA) explored the application of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) engineered to overexpress IFNγ as a possible solution. Their newSTEM CELLS study employing an intra-adrenal mouse model of neuroblastoma now demonstrates that direct delivery of IFNγ to the TME by MSCs transiently induces inflammatory M1 macrophage polarization to reduce tumor burden, but also avoid systemic toxicities.

Role of CD133 in Renal Tubular Cells

A new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study from the laboratory of Benedetta Bussolati (University of Torino, Italy) sought to discover the biological function of CD133-positive stem cells in renal repair. Their analysis suggests that CD133 molecule may act as a permissive factor for Wnt/beta-catenin signaling, regulating cell proliferative response after damage, while also limiting cell senescence. The authors hope that this data may contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms involved in renal tissue repair.

Investigating Corneal Transplantation following CLET

A new STEM CELLS report from Francisco C. Figueiredo (Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK) brings us the results of a new trial to investigate corneal transplantation, or penetrating keratoplasty (PKP), following autologous cultivated limbal epithelial stem cell transplantation (CLET). The author’s findings advocate a two‐stage procedure for first restoring the ocular surface followed by corneal transplantation later.

Short Telomeres Regulate CPC Fate

Age-associated factors, such as the shortening of telomeres, may significantly affect the regenerative potential of stem and progenitor cells. Researchers from the laboratory of Nirmala Hariharan (University of California at Davis, USA) now describe in a new STEM CELLS study how the interplay between short telomeres, p53, and autophagy regulate the age‐associated changes in cardiac progenitor cell (CPC) fate. Matsumoto et al. hope that data such as this may help to identify clinically relevant strategies to rejuvenate aged CPCs and enhance their influence on myocardial repair and regeneration.


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!