Stem Cells International The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. The Effect of MSCs Derived from the Human Umbilical Cord Transduced by Fibroblast Growth Factor-20 on Parkinson’s Disease Thu, 05 May 2016 13:58:23 +0000 Cell therapy is a potential therapeutic approach for Parkinson’s disease (PD). Mesenchymal stem cells derived from the human umbilical cord (hUC-MSCs) give priority to PD patients because of multiple advantages. The appropriate gene transduction of hUC-MSC before transplantation is a promising procedure for cell therapy. Fibroblast growth factor-20 (FGF-20) has been shown to protect dopaminergic neurons against a range of toxic insults in vitro. In this study, the hUC-MSCs were gene transduced with FGF-20, and then we transplanted them into the PD mice model. The results showed that MSC-FGF-20 treatment obviously improved the behavior of PD, accompanied by the increase of tyrosine carboxylase- (TH-) positive cell and dopamine (DA). Furtherly, immunohistochemistry disclosed that MSC-FGF-20 obviously promoted the degradation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), a transcription factor that controls genes encoding proinflammatory cytokines, highly expressed in the nigrostriatal dopaminergic regions in PD patients. Therefore, MSC-FGF-20 has a potential for improving PD, closely related to the degradation of NF-κB. Li Jinfeng, Wang Yunliang, Liu Xinshan, Wang Shanshan, Xu Chunyang, Xue Peng, Yang Xiaopeng, Xu Zhixiu, Yin Honglei, Cao Xia, Duan Haifeng, and Cao Bingzhen Copyright © 2016 Li Jinfeng et al. All rights reserved. Cell-Based Strategies for Meniscus Tissue Engineering Thu, 05 May 2016 06:41:52 +0000 Meniscus injuries remain a significant challenge due to the poor healing potential of the inner avascular zone. Following a series of studies and clinical trials, tissue engineering is considered a promising prospect for meniscus repair and regeneration. As one of the key factors in tissue engineering, cells are believed to be highly beneficial in generating bionic meniscus structures to replace injured ones in patients. Therefore, cell-based strategies for meniscus tissue engineering play a fundamental role in meniscal regeneration. According to current studies, the main cell-based strategies for meniscus tissue engineering are single cell type strategies; cell coculture strategies also were applied to meniscus tissue engineering. Likewise, on the one side, the zonal recapitulation strategies based on mimicking meniscal differing cells and internal architectures have received wide attentions. On the other side, cell self-assembling strategies without any scaffolds may be a better way to build a bionic meniscus. In this review, we primarily discuss cell seeds for meniscus tissue engineering and their application strategies. We also discuss recent advances and achievements in meniscus repair experiments that further improve our understanding of meniscus tissue engineering. Wei Niu, Weimin Guo, Shufeng Han, Yun Zhu, Shuyun Liu, and Quanyi Guo Copyright © 2016 Wei Niu et al. All rights reserved. A Systematic Comparison Identifies an ATP-Based Viability Assay as Most Suitable Read-Out for Drug Screening in Glioma Stem-Like Cells Thu, 05 May 2016 06:06:43 +0000 Serum-free culture methods for patient-derived primary glioma cultures, selecting for glioma stem-like cells (GSCs), are becoming the gold standard in neurooncology research. These GSCs can be implemented in drug screens to detect patient-specific responses, potentially bridging the translational gap to personalized medicine. Since numerous compounds are available, a rapid and reliable readout for drug efficacies is required. This can be done using approaches that measure viability, confluency, cytotoxicity, or apoptosis. To determine which assay is best suitable for drug screening, 10 different assays were systematically tested on established glioma cell lines and validated on a panel of GSCs. General applicability was assessed using distinct treatment modalities, being temozolomide, radiation, rapamycin, and the oncolytic adenovirus Delta24-RGD. The apoptosis and cytotoxicity assays did not unequivocally detect responses and were excluded from further testing. The NADH- and ATP-based viability assays revealed comparable readout for all treatments; however, the latter had smaller standard deviations and direct readout. Importantly, drugs that interfere with cell metabolism require alternative techniques such as confluency monitoring to accurately measure treatment effects. Taken together, our data suggest that the combination of ATP luminescence assays with confluency monitoring provides the most specific and reproducible readout for drug screening on primary GSCs. A. Kleijn, J. J. Kloezeman, R. K. Balvers, M. van der Kaaij, C. M. F. Dirven, S. Leenstra, and M. L. M. Lamfers Copyright © 2016 A. Kleijn et al. All rights reserved. Environmental Ligands of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor and Their Effects in Models of Adult Liver Progenitor Cells Wed, 04 May 2016 12:55:32 +0000 The toxicity of environmental and dietary ligands of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in mature liver parenchymal cells is well appreciated, while considerably less attention has been paid to their impact on cell populations exhibiting phenotypic features of liver progenitor cells. Here, we discuss the results suggesting that the consequences of the AhR activation in the cellular models derived from bipotent liver progenitors could markedly differ from those in hepatocytes. In contact-inhibited liver progenitor cells, the AhR agonists induce a range of effects potentially linked with tumor promotion. They can stimulate cell cycle progression/proliferation and deregulate cell-to-cell communication, which is associated with downregulation of proteins forming gap junctions, adherens junctions, and desmosomes (such as connexin 43, E-cadherin, β-catenin, and plakoglobin), as well as with reduced cell adhesion and inhibition of intercellular communication. At the same time, toxic AhR ligands may affect the activity of the signaling pathways contributing to regulation of liver progenitor cell activation and/or differentiation, such as downregulation of Wnt/β-catenin and TGF-β signaling, or upregulation of transcriptional targets of YAP/TAZ, the effectors of Hippo signaling pathway. These data illustrate the need to better understand the potential role of liver progenitors in the AhR-mediated liver carcinogenesis and tumor promotion. Jan Vondráček and Miroslav Machala Copyright © 2016 Jan Vondráček and Miroslav Machala. All rights reserved. Functional Properties of Human Stem Cell-Derived Neurons in Health and Disease Wed, 04 May 2016 12:30:06 +0000 Stem cell-derived neurons from various source materials present unique model systems to examine the fundamental properties of central nervous system (CNS) development as well as the molecular underpinnings of disease phenotypes. In order to more accurately assess potential therapies for neurological disorders, multiple strategies have been employed in recent years to produce neuronal populations that accurately represent in vivo regional and transmitter phenotypes. These include new technologies such as direct conversion of somatic cell types into neurons and glia which may accelerate maturation and retain genetic hallmarks of aging. In addition, novel forms of genetic manipulations have brought human stem cells nearly on par with those of rodent with respect to gene targeting. For neurons of the CNS, the ultimate phenotypic characterization lies with their ability to recapitulate functional properties such as passive and active membrane characteristics, synaptic activity, and plasticity. These features critically depend on the coordinated expression and localization of hundreds of ion channels and receptors, as well as scaffolding and signaling molecules. In this review I will highlight the current state of knowledge regarding functional properties of human stem cell-derived neurons, with a primary focus on pluripotent stem cells. While significant advances have been made, critical hurdles must be overcome in order for this technology to support progression toward clinical applications. Jason P. Weick Copyright © 2016 Jason P. Weick. All rights reserved. Biomaterial Applications in Cell-Based Therapy in Experimental Stroke Wed, 04 May 2016 11:39:30 +0000 Stroke is an important health issue corresponding to the second cause of mortality and first cause of severe disability with no effective treatments after the first hours of onset. Regenerative approaches such as cell therapy provide an increase in endogenous brain structural plasticity but they are not enough to promote a complete recovery. Tissue engineering has recently aroused a major interesting development of biomaterials for use into the central nervous system. Many biomaterials have been engineered based on natural compounds, synthetic compounds, or a mix of both with the aim of providing polymers with specific properties. The mechanical properties of biomaterials can be exquisitely regulated forming polymers with different stiffness, modifiable physical state that polymerizes in situ, or small particles encapsulating cells or growth factors. The choice of biomaterial compounds should be adapted for the different applications, structure target, and delay of administration. Biocompatibilities with embedded cells and with the host tissue and biodegradation rate must be considerate. In this paper, we review the different applications of biomaterials combined with cell therapy in ischemic stroke and we explore specific features such as choice of biomaterial compounds and physical and mechanical properties concerning the recent studies in experimental stroke. Ligia S. B. Boisserand, Tomonobu Kodama, Jérémie Papassin, Rachel Auzely, Anaïck Moisan, Claire Rome, and Olivier Detante Copyright © 2016 Ligia S. B. Boisserand et al. All rights reserved. Genetic Engineering of Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Induce Their Migration and Survival Tue, 03 May 2016 12:30:27 +0000 Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are very attractive for regenerative medicine due to their relatively easy derivation and broad range of differentiation capabilities, either naturally or induced through cell engineering. However, efficient methods of delivery to diseased tissues and the long-term survival of grafted cells still need improvement. Here, we review genetic engineering approaches designed to enhance the migratory capacities of MSCs, as well as extend their survival after transplantation by the modulation of prosurvival approaches, including prevention of senescence and apoptosis. We highlight some of the latest examples that explore these pivotal points, which have great relevance in cell-based therapies. Adam Nowakowski, Piotr Walczak, Barbara Lukomska, and Miroslaw Janowski Copyright © 2016 Adam Nowakowski et al. All rights reserved. A Comparative Evaluation of the Mechanical Properties of Two Calcium Phosphate/Collagen Composite Materials and Their Osteogenic Effects on Adipose-Derived Stem Cells Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:12:55 +0000 Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) are ideal seed cells for use in bone tissue engineering and they have many advantages over other stem cells. In this study, two kinds of calcium phosphate/collagen composite scaffolds were prepared and their effects on the proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of ADSCs were investigated. The hydroxyapatite/β-tricalcium phosphate (HA/β-TCP) composite scaffolds (HTPSs), which have an additional β-tricalcium phosphate, resulted in better proliferation of ADSCs and showed osteogenesis-promoting effects. Therefore, such composite scaffolds, in combination with ADSCs or on their own, would be promising for use in bone regeneration and potential clinical therapy for bone defects. Qing Li, Tong Wang, Gui-feng Zhang, Xin Yu, Jing Zhang, Gang Zhou, and Zhi-hui Tang Copyright © 2016 Qing Li et al. All rights reserved. Hepatic Stellate Cell-Derived Microvesicles Prevent Hepatocytes from Injury Induced by APAP/H2O2 Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:28:50 +0000 Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), previously described for liver-specific mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), appear to contribute to liver regeneration. Microvesicles (MVs) are nanoscale membrane fragments, which can regulate target cell function by transferring contents from their parent cells. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of HSC-derived MVs on xenobiotic-induced liver injury. Rat and human hepatocytes, BRL-3A and HL-7702, were used to build hepatocytes injury models by n-acetyl-p-aminophenol n-(APAP) or H2O2 treatment. MVs were prepared from human and rat HSCs, LX-2, and HST-T6 and, respectively, added to injured BRL-3A and HL-7702 hepatocytes. MTT assay was utilized to determine cell proliferation. Cell apoptosis was analyzed by flow cytometry and hoechst33258 staining. Western blot was used for analyzing the expression of activated caspase-3. Liver injury indicators, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in culture medium were also assessed. Results showed that (1) HSC-MVs derived from LX-2 and HST-T6 were positive to CD90 and annexin V surface markers; (2) HSC-MVs dose-dependently improved the viability of hepatocytes in both injury models; (3) HSC-MVs dose-dependently inhibited the APAP/H2O2 induced hepatocytes apoptosis and activated caspase-3 expression and leakage of LDH, ALT, and AST. Our results demonstrate that HSC-derived MVs protect hepatocytes from toxicant-induced injury. Renwei Huang, Qunwen Pan, Xiaotang Ma, Yan Wang, Yaolong Liang, Bingyan Dai, Xiaorong Liao, Mingyi Li, and Huilai Miao Copyright © 2016 Renwei Huang et al. All rights reserved. Human Embryonic Stem Cells: A Model for the Study of Neural Development and Neurological Diseases Thu, 28 Apr 2016 09:19:55 +0000 Although the mechanism of neurogenesis has been well documented in other organisms, there might be fundamental differences between human and those species referring to species-specific context. Based on principles learned from other systems, it is found that the signaling pathways required for neural induction and specification of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) recapitulated those in the early embryo development in vivo at certain degree. This underscores the usefulness of hESCs in understanding early human neural development and reinforces the need to integrate the principles of developmental biology and hESC biology for an efficient neural differentiation. Piya Prajumwongs, Oratai Weeranantanapan, Thiranut Jaroonwitchawan, and Parinya Noisa Copyright © 2016 Piya Prajumwongs et al. All rights reserved. Tissue Inhibitor of Matrix Metalloproteinases-1 Knockdown Suppresses the Proliferation of Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells Wed, 27 Apr 2016 13:18:25 +0000 Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) is a multifunctional matrix metalloproteinase, and it is involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and apoptosis in various cell types. However, little is known about the effect of TIMP-1 expression on the proliferation of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs). Therefore, TIMP-1 expression in the ADSCs was firstly detected by western blotting, and TIMP-1 gene was knocked down by lentivirus-mediated shRNA. Cell proliferation was then evaluated by MTT assay and Ki67 staining, respectively. Cell cycle progression was determined by flow cytometry. The changes of p51, p21, cyclin E, cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2), and P-CDK2 caused by TIMP-1 knockdown were detected by western blotting. The results indicated that ADSCs highly expressed TIMP-1 protein, and the knockdown of TIMP-1 inhibited cell proliferation and arrested cell cycle progression at G1 phase in the ADSCs possibly through the upregulation of p53, p21, and P-CDK2 protein levels and concurrent downregulation of cyclin E and CDK2 protein levels. These findings suggest that TIMP-1 works as a positive regulator of cell proliferation in ADSCs. Peihua Zhang, Jin Li, Yawei Qi, Xudong Tang, Jianfeng Duan, Li Liu, Zeyong Wu, Jie Liang, Jiangfeng Li, Xian Wang, Guofang Zeng, and Hongwei Liu Copyright © 2016 Peihua Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Comparison of the Biological Characteristics of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Derived from Bone Marrow and Skin Wed, 27 Apr 2016 13:16:32 +0000 Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) exhibit high proliferation and self-renewal capabilities and are critical for tissue repair and regeneration during ontogenesis. They also play a role in immunomodulation. MSCs can be isolated from a variety of tissues and have many potential applications in the clinical setting. However, MSCs of different origins may possess different biological characteristics. In this study, we performed a comprehensive comparison of MSCs isolated from bone marrow and skin (BMMSCs and SMSCs, resp.), including analysis of the skin sampling area, separation method, culture conditions, primary and passage culture times, cell surface markers, multipotency, cytokine secretion, gene expression, and fibroblast-like features. The results showed that the MSCs from both sources had similar cell morphologies, surface markers, and differentiation capacities. However, the two cell types exhibited major differences in growth characteristics; the primary culture time of BMMSCs was significantly shorter than that of SMSCs, whereas the growth rate of BMMSCs was lower than that of SMSCs after passaging. Moreover, differences in gene expression and cytokine secretion profiles were observed. For example, secretion of proliferative cytokines was significantly higher for SMSCs than for BMMSCs. Our findings provide insights into the different biological functions of both cell types. Ruifeng Liu, Wenjuan Chang, Hong Wei, and Kaiming Zhang Copyright © 2016 Ruifeng Liu et al. All rights reserved. Inhibition of Myocardial Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury by Exosomes Secreted from Mesenchymal Stem Cells Tue, 26 Apr 2016 13:32:22 +0000 Exosomes secreted by mesenchymal stem cells have shown great therapeutic potential in regenerative medicine. In this study, we performed meta-analysis to assess the clinical effectiveness of using exosomes in ischemia/reperfusion injury based on the reports published between January 2000 and September 2015 and indexed in the PUBMED and Web of Science databases. The effect of exosomes on heart function was evaluated according to the following parameters: the area at risk as a percentage of the left ventricle, infarct size as a percentage of the area at risk, infarct size as a percentage of the left ventricle, left ventricular ejection fraction, left ventricular fraction shortening, end-diastolic volume, and end-systolic volume. Our analysis indicated that the currently available evidence confirmed the therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cell-secreted exosomes in the improvement of heart function. However, further mechanistic studies, therapeutic safety, and clinical trials are required for optimization and validation of this approach to cardiac regeneration after ischemia/reperfusion injury. Heng Zhang, Meng Xiang, Dan Meng, Ning Sun, and Sifeng Chen Copyright © 2016 Heng Zhang et al. All rights reserved. GDNF Enhances Therapeutic Efficiency of Neural Stem Cells-Based Therapy in Chronic Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis in Rat Tue, 26 Apr 2016 12:16:36 +0000 Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease in the CNS. The current immunomodulating drugs for MS do not effectively prevent the progressive neurological decline. Neural stem cells (NSCs) transplantation has been proven to promote repair and functional recovery of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) animal model for MS, and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) has also been found to have capability of promoting axonal regeneration and remyelination of regenerating axons. In the present study, to assess whether GDNF would enhance therapeutic effect of NSCs for EAE, GDNF gene-modified NSCs (GDNF/NSCs) and native NSCs were transplanted into each lateral ventricle of rats at 10 days and rats were sacrificed at 60 days after EAE immunization. We found that NSCs significantly reduced the clinical signs, and GDNF gene-modification further promoted functional recovery. GDNF/NSCs more profoundly suppressed brain inflammation and improved density of myelin compared with NSCs. The survival of GDNF/NSCs was significantly higher than that of transplanted NSCs. Transplanted GDNF/NSCs, in contrast to NSCs, differentiated into more neurons and oligodendrocytes. Moreover, the mRNA expression of oligodendrocyte lineage cells in rats with GDNF/NSCs was significantly increased compared to rats with NSCs. These results suggest that GDNF enhances therapeutic efficiency of NSCs-based therapy for EAE. Xiaoqing Gao, Li Deng, Yun Wang, Ling Yin, Chaoxian Yang, Jie Du, and Qionglan Yuan Copyright © 2016 Xiaoqing Gao et al. All rights reserved. Using Stem Cells to Grow Artificial Tissue for Peripheral Nerve Repair Tue, 26 Apr 2016 11:06:37 +0000 Peripheral nerve injury continues to pose a clinical hurdle despite its frequency and advances in treatment. Unlike the central nervous system, neurons of the peripheral nervous system have a greater ability to regenerate. However, due to a number of confounding factors, this is often both incomplete and inadequate. The lack of supportive Schwann cells or their inability to maintain a regenerative phenotype is a major factor. Advances in nervous system tissue engineering technology have led to efforts to build Schwann cell scaffolds to overcome this and enhance the regenerative capacity of neurons following injury. Stem cells that can differentiate along a neural lineage represent an essential resource and starting material for this process. In this review, we discuss the different stem cell types that are showing promise for nervous system tissue engineering in the context of peripheral nerve injury. We also discuss some of the biological, practical, ethical, and commercial considerations in using these different stem cells for future clinical application. Kulraj Singh Bhangra, Francesca Busuttil, James B. Phillips, and Ahad A. Rahim Copyright © 2016 Kulraj Singh Bhangra et al. All rights reserved. Establishment of Human Neural Progenitor Cells from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells with Diverse Tissue Origins Tue, 26 Apr 2016 06:48:29 +0000 Human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) have previously been generated from limited numbers of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) clones. Here, 21 hiPSC clones derived from human dermal fibroblasts, cord blood cells, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells were differentiated using two neural induction methods, an embryoid body (EB) formation-based method and an EB formation method using dual SMAD inhibitors (dSMADi). Our results showed that expandable hNPCs could be generated from hiPSC clones with diverse somatic tissue origins. The established hNPCs exhibited a mid/hindbrain-type neural identity and uniform expression of neural progenitor genes. Hayato Fukusumi, Tomoko Shofuda, Yohei Bamba, Atsuyo Yamamoto, Daisuke Kanematsu, Yukako Handa, Keisuke Okita, Masaya Nakamura, Shinya Yamanaka, Hideyuki Okano, and Yonehiro Kanemura Copyright © 2016 Hayato Fukusumi et al. All rights reserved. The Importance of CD44 as a Stem Cell Biomarker and Therapeutic Target in Cancer Thu, 21 Apr 2016 09:12:01 +0000 CD44 is a cell surface HA-binding glycoprotein that is overexpressed to some extent by almost all tumors of epithelial origin and plays an important role in tumor initiation and metastasis. CD44 is a compelling marker for cancer stem cells of many solid malignancies. In addition, interaction of HA and CD44 promotes EGFR-mediated pathways, consequently leading to tumor cell growth, tumor cell migration, and chemotherapy resistance in solid cancers. Accumulating evidence indicates that major HA-CD44 signaling pathways involve a specific variant of CD44 isoforms; however, the particular variant almost certainly depends on the type of tumor cell and the stage of the cancer progression. Research to date suggests use of monoclonal antibodies against different CD44 variant isoforms and targeted inhibition of HA/CD44-mediated signaling combined with conventional radio/chemotherapy may be the most favorable therapeutic strategy for future treatments of advanced stage malignancies. Thus, this paper briefly focuses on the association of the major CD44 variant isoforms in cancer progression, the role of HA-CD44 interaction in oncogenic pathways, and strategies to target CD44-overexpressed tumor cells. Ranjeeta Thapa and George D. Wilson Copyright © 2016 Ranjeeta Thapa and George D. Wilson. All rights reserved. Potential Therapies by Stem Cell-Derived Exosomes in CNS Diseases: Focusing on the Neurogenic Niche Tue, 19 Apr 2016 11:32:50 +0000 Neurodegenerative disorders are one of the leading causes of death and disability and one of the biggest burdens on health care systems. Novel approaches using various types of stem cells have been proposed to treat common neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, or stroke. Moreover, as the secretome of these cells appears to be of greater benefit compared to the cells themselves, the extracellular components responsible for its therapeutic benefit have been explored. Stem cells, as well as most cells, release extracellular vesicles such as exosomes, which are nanovesicles able to target specific cell types and thus to modify their function by delivering proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. Exosomes have recently been tested in vivo and in vitro as therapeutic conveyors for the treatment of diseases. As such, they could be engineered to target specific populations of cells within the CNS. Considering the fact that many degenerative brain diseases have an impact on adult neurogenesis, we discuss how the modulation of the adult neurogenic niches may be a therapeutic target of stem cell-derived exosomes. These novel approaches should be examined in cellular and animal models to provide better, more effective, and specific therapeutic tools in the future. Alejandro Luarte, Luis Federico Bátiz, Ursula Wyneken, and Carlos Lafourcade Copyright © 2016 Alejandro Luarte et al. All rights reserved. Therapeutic Roles of Tendon Stem/Progenitor Cells in Tendinopathy Tue, 19 Apr 2016 06:04:04 +0000 Tendinopathy is a tendon disorder characterized by activity-related pain, local edema, focal tenderness to palpation, and decreased strength in the affected area. Tendinopathy is prevalent in both athletes and the general population, highlighting the need to elucidate the pathogenesis of this disorder. Current treatments of tendinopathy are both conservative and symptomatic. The discovery of tendon stem/progenitor cells (TSPCs) and erroneous differentiation of TSPCs have provided new insights into the pathogenesis of tendinopathy. In this review, we firstly present the histopathological characteristics of tendinopathy and explore the cellular and molecular cues in the pathogenesis of tendinopathy. Current evidence of the depletion of the stem cell pool and altered TSPCs fate in the pathogenesis of tendinopathy has been presented. The potential regulatory factors for either tenogenic or nontenogenic differentiation of TSPCs are also summarized. The regulation of endogenous TSPCs or supplementation with exogenous TSPCs as therapeutic targets for the treatment of tendinopathy is proposed. Therefore, inhibiting the erroneous differentiation of TSPCs and regulating the differentiation of TSPCs into tendon cells might be important areas of future research and could provide new clinical treatments for tendinopathy. The current evidence suggests that TSPCs are promising therapeutic targets for the management of tendinopathy. Xin Zhang, Yu-cheng Lin, Yun-feng Rui, Hong-liang Xu, Hui Chen, Chen Wang, and Gao-jun Teng Copyright © 2016 Xin Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Lymphoid Tissue Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Development and Tissue Remodeling Wed, 13 Apr 2016 11:45:54 +0000 Secondary lymphoid organs (SLOs) are sites that facilitate cell-cell interactions required for generating adaptive immune responses. Nonhematopoietic mesenchymal stromal cells have been shown to play a critical role in SLO function, organization, and tissue homeostasis. The stromal microenvironment undergoes profound remodeling to support immune responses. However, chronic inflammatory conditions can promote uncontrolled stromal cell activation and aberrant tissue remodeling including fibrosis, thus leading to tissue damage. Despite recent advancements, the origin and role of mesenchymal stromal cells involved in SLO development and remodeling remain unclear. Luca Genovese and Andrea Brendolan Copyright © 2016 Luca Genovese and Andrea Brendolan. All rights reserved. Multilayer Membranes of Glycosaminoglycans and Collagen I Biomaterials Modulate the Function and Microvesicle Release of Endothelial Progenitor Cells Wed, 13 Apr 2016 09:13:10 +0000 Multilayer composite membrane of biomaterials can increase the function of adipose stem cells or osteoprogenitor cells. Recent evidence indicates endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and EPCs released microvesicles (MVs) play important roles in angiogenesis and vascular repair. Here, we investigated the effects of biomaterial multilayer membranes of hyaluronic acid (HA) or chondroitin sulfate (CS) and Collagen I (Col I) on the functions and MVs release of EPCs. Layer-by-layer (LBL) technology was applied to construct the multilayer composite membranes. Four types of the membranes constructed by adsorbing either HA or CS and Col I alternatively with different top layers were studied. The results showed that all four types of multilayer composite membranes could promote EPCs proliferation and migration and inhibit cell senility, apoptosis, and the expression of activated caspase-3. Interestingly, these biomaterials increased the release and the miR-126 level of EPCs-MVs. Moreover, the CS-Col I membrane with CS on the top layer showed the most effects on promoting EPCs proliferation, EPCs-MV release, and miR-126 level in EPCs-MVs. In conclusion, HA/CS and Collagen I composed multilayer composite membranes can promote EPCs functions and release of miR-126 riched EPCs-MVs, which provides a novel strategy for tissue repair treatment. Bingyan Dai, Qunwen Pan, Zhanghua Li, Mingyan Zhao, Xiaorong Liao, Keng Wu, and Xiaotang Ma Copyright © 2016 Bingyan Dai et al. All rights reserved. Ultraviolet Radiation-Induced Skin Aging: The Role of DNA Damage and Oxidative Stress in Epidermal Stem Cell Damage Mediated Skin Aging Mon, 11 Apr 2016 11:08:48 +0000 Skin is the largest human organ. Skin continually reconstructs itself to ensure its viability, integrity, and ability to provide protection for the body. Some areas of skin are continuously exposed to a variety of environmental stressors that can inflict direct and indirect damage to skin cell DNA. Skin homeostasis is maintained by mesenchymal stem cells in inner layer dermis and epidermal stem cells (ESCs) in the outer layer epidermis. Reduction of skin stem cell number and function has been linked to impaired skin homeostasis (e.g., skin premature aging and skin cancers). Skin stem cells, with self-renewal capability and multipotency, are frequently affected by environment. Ultraviolet radiation (UVR), a major cause of stem cell DNA damage, can contribute to depletion of stem cells (ESCs and mesenchymal stem cells) and damage of stem cell niche, eventually leading to photoinduced skin aging. In this review, we discuss the role of UV-induced DNA damage and oxidative stress in the skin stem cell aging in order to gain insights into the pathogenesis and develop a way to reduce photoaging of skin cells. Uraiwan Panich, Gunya Sittithumcharee, Natwarath Rathviboon, and Siwanon Jirawatnotai Copyright © 2016 Uraiwan Panich et al. All rights reserved. The Engrailed-1 Gene Stimulates Brown Adipogenesis Mon, 11 Apr 2016 08:28:40 +0000 As a thermogenic organ, brown adipose tissue (BAT) has received a great attention in treating obesity and related diseases. It has been reported that brown adipocyte was derived from engrailed-1 (EN1) positive central dermomyotome. However, functions of EN1 in brown adipogenesis are largely unknown. Here we demonstrated that EN1 overexpression increased while EN1 knockdown decreased lipid accumulation and the expressions of key adipogenic genes including PPARγ2 and C/EBPα and mitochondrial OXPHOS as well as BAT specific marker UCP1. Taken together, our findings clearly indicate that EN1 is a positive regulator of brown adipogenesis. Chuanhai Zhang, Yibing Weng, Fangxiong Shi, and Wanzhu Jin Copyright © 2016 Chuanhai Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Genome Editing of the CYP1A1 Locus in iPSCs as a Platform to Map AHR Expression throughout Human Development Mon, 11 Apr 2016 07:38:54 +0000 The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a ligand activated transcription factor that increases the expression of detoxifying enzymes upon ligand stimulation. Recent studies now suggest that novel endogenous roles of the AHR exist throughout development. In an effort to create an optimized model system for the study of AHR signaling in several cellular lineages, we have employed a CRISPR/CAS9 genome editing strategy in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to incorporate a reporter cassette at the transcription start site of one of its canonical targets, cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1). This cell line faithfully reports on CYP1A1 expression, with luciferase levels as its functional readout, when treated with an endogenous AHR ligand (FICZ) at escalating doses. iPSC-derived fibroblast-like cells respond to acute exposure to environmental and endogenous AHR ligands, and iPSC-derived hepatocytes increase CYP1A1 in a similar manner to primary hepatocytes. This cell line is an important innovation that can be used to map AHR activity in discrete cellular subsets throughout developmental ontogeny. As further endogenous ligands are proposed, this line can be used to screen for safety and efficacy and can report on the ability of small molecules to regulate critical cellular processes by modulating the activity of the AHR. Brenden W. Smith, Elizabeth A. Stanford, David H. Sherr, and George J. Murphy Copyright © 2016 Brenden W. Smith et al. All rights reserved. Dental and Nondental Stem Cell Based Regeneration of the Craniofacial Region: A Tissue Based Approach Sun, 10 Apr 2016 11:22:08 +0000 Craniofacial reconstruction may be a necessary treatment for those who have been affected by trauma, disease, or pathological developmental conditions. The use of stem cell therapy and tissue engineering shows massive potential as a future treatment modality. Currently in the literature, there is a wide variety of published experimental studies utilising the different stem cell types available and the plethora of available scaffold materials. This review investigates different stem cell sources and their unique characteristics to suggest an ideal cell source for regeneration of individual craniofacial tissues. At present, understanding and clinical applications of stem cell therapy remain in their infancy with numerous challenges to overcome. In spite of this, the field displays immense capacity and will no doubt be utilised in future clinical treatments of craniofacial regeneration. Declan Hughes and Bing Song Copyright © 2016 Declan Hughes and Bing Song. All rights reserved. A Common Language: How Neuroimmunological Cross Talk Regulates Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis Sun, 10 Apr 2016 08:30:34 +0000 Immune regulation of the brain is generally studied in the context of injury or disease. Less is known about how the immune system regulates the brain during normal brain function. Recent work has redefined the field of neuroimmunology and, as long as their recruitment and activation are well regulated, immune cells are now known to have protective properties within the central nervous system in maintaining brain health. Adult neurogenesis, the process of new neuron generation in the adult brain, is highly plastic and regulated by diverse extrinsic and intrinsic cues. Emerging research has shown that immune cells and their secreted factors can influence adult neurogenesis, both under baseline conditions and during conditions known to change neurogenesis levels, such as aging and learning in an enriched environment. This review will discuss how, under nonpathological conditions, the immune system can interact with the neural stem cells to regulate adult neurogenesis with particular focus on the hippocampus—a region crucial for learning and memory. Odette Leiter, Gerd Kempermann, and Tara L. Walker Copyright © 2016 Odette Leiter et al. All rights reserved. Endothelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Regenerative Medicine Thu, 07 Apr 2016 13:32:29 +0000 Endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) is a fundamental cellular mechanism that regulates embryonic development and diseases such as cancer and fibrosis. Recent developments in biomedical research have shown remarkable potential to harness the EndMT process for tissue engineering and regeneration. As an alternative to traditional or artificial stem cell therapies, EndMT may represent a safe method for engineering new tissues to treat degenerative diseases by mimicking a process that occurs in nature. This review discusses the signaling mechanisms and therapeutic inhibitors of EndMT, as well as the role of EndMT in development, disease, acquiring stem cell properties and generating connective tissues, and its potential as a novel mechanism for tissue regeneration. Damian Medici Copyright © 2016 Damian Medici. All rights reserved. Leukemia Stem Cell-Released Microvesicles Promote the Survival and Migration of Myeloid Leukemia Cells and These Effects Can Be Inhibited by MicroRNA34a Overexpression Tue, 05 Apr 2016 14:06:20 +0000 Leukemia stem cells (LSCs) play the major role in relapse of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Recent evidence indicates that microvesicles (MVs) released from cancer stem cells can promote tumor growth and invasion. In this study, we investigated whether LSCs-released MVs (LMVs) can regulate the malignance of AML cells and whether overexpression of tumor suppressive microRNA (miR), miR34a, is able to interrupt this process. LSCs were transfected with miRNA control (miRCtrl) or miR34a mimic for producing LMVs, respectively, defined as and . The effect of miR34a transfection on LSC proliferation and the effects of or on the proliferation, migration, and apoptosis of AML cells (after LSC depletion) were determined. The levels of miR34a targets, caspase-3 and T cell immunoglobulin mucin-3 (Tim-3), were analyzed. Results showed that (1) promoted proliferation and migration and inhibited apoptosis of AML cells, which were associated with miR34a deficit; (2) transfection of miR34a mimic inhibited LSC proliferation and increased miR34a level in ; (3) produced opposite effects as compared with , which were associated with the changes of caspase-3 and Tim-3 levels. In summary, LMVs support AML cell malignance and modulating miR34a could offer a new approach for the management of AML. Yue Wang, Qian Cheng, Jing Liu, and Min Dong Copyright © 2016 Yue Wang et al. All rights reserved. Organotypic Cultures as a Model to Study Adult Neurogenesis in CNS Disorders Tue, 05 Apr 2016 11:41:53 +0000 Neural regeneration resides in certain specific regions of adult CNS. Adult neurogenesis occurs throughout life, especially from the subgranular zone of hippocampus and the subventricular zone, and can be modulated in physiological and pathological conditions. Numerous techniques and animal models have been developed to demonstrate and observe neural regeneration but, in order to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms and to characterize multiple types of cell populations involved in the activation of neurogenesis and gliogenesis, investigators have to turn to in vitro models. Organotypic cultures best recapitulate the 3D organization of the CNS and can be explored taking advantage of many techniques. Here, we review the use of organotypic cultures as a reliable and well defined method to study the mechanisms of neurogenesis under normal and pathological conditions. As an example, we will focus on the possibilities these cultures offer to study the pathophysiology of diseases like Alzheimer disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cerebral ischemia. Fabio Cavaliere, Monica Benito-Muñoz, and Carlos Matute Copyright © 2016 Fabio Cavaliere et al. All rights reserved. XPC Promotes Pluripotency of Human Dental Pulp Cells through Regulation of Oct-4/Sox2/c-Myc Mon, 04 Apr 2016 16:35:57 +0000 Introduction. Xeroderma pigmentosum group C (XPC), essential component of multisubunit stem cell coactivator complex (SCC), functions as the critical factor modulating pluripotency and genome integrity through interaction with Oct-4/Sox2. However, its specific role in regulating pluripotency and multilineage differentiation of human dental pulp cells (DPCs) remains unknown. Methods. To elucidate the functional role XPC played in pluripotency and multilineage differentiation of DPCs, expressions of XPC in DPCs with long-term culture were examined by real-time PCR and western blot. DPCs were transfected with lentiviral-mediated human XPC gene; then transfection rate was investigated by real-time PCR and western blot. Cell cycle, apoptosis, proliferation, senescence, multilineage differentiation, and expression of Oct-4/Sox2/c-Myc in transfected DPCs were examined. Results. XPC, Oct-4, Sox2, and c-Myc were downregulated at P7 compared with P3 in DPCs with long-term culture. XPC genes were upregulated in DPCs at P2 after transfection and maintained high expression level at P3 and P7. Cell proliferation, PI value, and telomerase activity were enhanced, whereas apoptosis was suppressed in transfected DPCs. Oct-4/Sox2/c-Myc were significantly upregulated, and multilineage differentiation in DPCs with XPC overexpression was enhanced after transfection. Conclusions. XPC plays an essential role in the modulation of pluripotency and multilineage differentiation of DPCs through regulation of Oct-4/Sox2/c-Myc. Lu Liu, Zhengjun Peng, Zhezhen Xu, and Xi Wei Copyright © 2016 Lu Liu et al. All rights reserved.