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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Umbilical Cord Blood Banking, MSC-based Wound Healing, Strap-mediated ESC Differentiation, and EPC‐derived Mitochondria in Brain Protection!

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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!

Evolving Landscape of Umbilical Cord Blood Banking

Umbilical cord blood (UCB) banking provides an off‐the‐shelf solution for patients in urgent need of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). However, the release of UCB units for therapeutic purposes has plateaued and started to decrease year‐on‐year from 2013 to 2016. Researchers from the lab of Michael S. Pepper (University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa) sought to uncover the reasons behind this trend in a new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article. They report that the emergence of haploidentical HSCT, the increasing use of UCB units for regenerative medicine purposes, the high cost associated with UCB transplantation, the economic impact of sustaining public bank operations, and an active private UCB banking sector all play influencing roles.

MSC for Lasting Wound Healing of Irradiated Skin

A new study from the lab of Christine Linard (Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire, Fontenay‐aux‐Roses, France) sought to investigate the potential application of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) as a means to improve plastic surgery for skin necrosis, in a large‐animal model of cutaneous radiation syndrome. The team discovered that vascularized flap surgery successfully and lastingly remodeled irradiated skin only when combined with BM‐MSC therapy. For all the details, see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now!

Strap in Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation

Researchers from the lab of Pran K. Datta (University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA) recently set out to investigate the functional role of the WD‐domain protein Strap (serine-threonine kinase receptor‐associated protein) in the pluripotency and lineage commitment of murine embryonic stem cells (mESCs). Jin et al. report that Strap knockout mESCs exhibit defects for lineage differentiation due to attenuated intracellular retinoic acid signaling and the induced expression of Cyp26A1. For the entire story, head over to STEM CELLS now!

EPC‐derived Mitochondria Protect Brain Endothelium

Recent studies have suggested that endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) release and transfer mitochondria when employed as a treatment for stroke and central nervous system injury. Now, research led by Kazuhide Hayakawa, Eng H. Lo, and Anna Rosell have established that EPCs support brain endothelial energetics, barrier integrity, and angiogenic function partly through extracellular mitochondrial transfer. For more on this exciting new advance, 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!