Stem Cells International
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Acceptance rate30%
Submission to final decision101 days
Acceptance to publication24 days
CiteScore8.800
Journal Citation Indicator0.820
Impact Factor5.131

miR-141-3p Targeted SIRT1 to Inhibit Osteogenic Differentiation of Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells

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 Journal profile

Stem Cells International publishes papers in all areas of stem cell biology and applications. The journal publishes basic, translational, and clinical research, including animal models and clinical trials.

 Editor spotlight

Chief Editor Professor Li has a background in cardiac stem cell transplantation, using young stem cells to promote tissue repair following injury to rejuvenate the aged individual, and the development of biomaterials that can easily integrate into damaged heart tissue.

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We currently have a number of Special Issues open for submission. Special Issues highlight emerging areas of research within a field, or provide a venue for a deeper investigation into an existing research area.

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Research Article

Extracellular Vesicle-Loaded Oncogenic lncRNA NEAT1 from Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Confers Gemcitabine Resistance in Pancreatic Cancer via miR-491-5p/Snail/SOCS3 Axis

It is becoming increasingly evident that key mechanisms of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) efficacy appear to associate with paracrine activities, and the delivery of cargos through extracellular vesicles (EVs) controls the mechanistic actions of MSCs. Thus, this study clarified a possible mechanism by which EV-encapsulated NEAT1 from adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) might mediate gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic cancer (PCa). Microarray profile suggested a differentially expressed lncRNA NEAT1 in PCa, and we determined its expression in PCa cells. NEAT1 was found to be upregulated in PCa. The binding affinity among NEAT1, miR-491-5p, and Snail was identified through bioinformatic analysis and experimental validation. NEAT1 competitively bound to miR-491-5p to elevate Snail expression and diminish SOCS3 expression. PCa cells were cocultured with EVs extracted from ADSCs, followed by assessment of malignant phenotypes, tumorigenesis, and gemcitabine resistance of PCa cells using gain- or loss-of-function experiments. ADSC-derived EVs carrying NEAT1 promoted PCa cell proliferation, migration, and gemcitabine resistance in vitro and enhanced tumorigenicity in vivo by inhibiting miR-491-5p and SOCS3 and upregulating Snail. Collectively, the findings from our study found a new potential strategy for gemcitabine resistance in PCa by illustrating the mechanistic insights of oncogenic ADSC-derived EVs-loaded NEAT1 via regulating the miR-491-5p/Snail/SOCS3 axis.

Research Article

Adipose and Bone Marrow Derived-Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Express Similar Tenogenic Expression Levels when Subjected to Mechanical Uniaxial Stretching In Vitro

The present study was conducted to determine whether adipose derived mesenchymal stromal cells (AD-MSCs) or bone marrow derived-MSCs (BM-MSCs) would provide superior tenogenic expressions when subjected to cyclical tensile loading. The results for this would indicate the best choice of MSCs source to be used for cell-based tendon repair strategies. Both AD-MSCs and BM-MSCs were obtained from ten adult donors () and cultured in vitro. At passaged-2, cells from both groups were subjected to cyclical stretching at 1 Hz and 8% of strain. Cellular morphology, orientation, proliferation rate, protein, and gene expression levels were compared at 0, 24, and 48 hours of stretching. In both groups, mechanical stretching results in similar morphological changes, and the redirection of cell alignment is perpendicular to the direction of stretching. Loading at 8% strain did not significantly increase proliferation rates but caused an increase in total collagen expression and tenogenic gene expression levels. In both groups, these levels demonstrated no significant differences suggesting that in a similar loading environment, both cell types possess similar tenogenic potential. In conclusion, AD-MSCs and BM-MSCs both demonstrate similar tenogenic phenotypic and gene expression levels when subjected to cyclic tensile loading at 1 Hz and 8% strain, thus, suggesting that the use of either cell source may be suitable for tendon repair.

Research Article

Platelet-Derived Mitochondria Attenuate 5-FU-Induced Injury to Bone-Associated Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Background. Myelosuppression is a common condition during chemotherapy. Bone-associated mesenchymal stem cells (BA-MSCs) play an essential role in the composition of the hematopoietic microenvironment and support hematopoietic activity. However, chemotherapy-induced damage to BA-MSCs is rarely studied. Recent studies have shown that platelets promote the wound-healing capability of MSCs by mitochondrial transfer. Therefore, this study is aimed at investigating the chemotherapy-induced damage to BA-MSCs and the therapeutic effect of platelet-derived mitochondria. Material/Methods. We established in vivo and in vitro BA-MSC chemotherapy injury models using the chemotherapy agent 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). Changes in the mitochondrial dynamics were detected by transmission electron microscopy, and the expression of mitochondrial fusion and fission genes was analyzed by qRT-PCR. In addition, mitochondrial functions were also explored by flow cytometry and luminometer. Platelet-derived mitochondria were incubated with 5-FU-damaged BA-MSCs to repair the injury, and BA-MSC functional changes were examined to assess the therapy efficacy. The mechanism of treatment was explored by studying the expression of mitochondrial fission and fusion genes and hematopoietic regulatory factor genes in BA-MSCs. Results. Stimulation with 5-FU increased the apoptosis and suppressed cell cycle progression of BA-MSCs both in vivo and in vitro. In addition, 5-FU chemotherapy inhibited the hematopoietic regulatory ability and disrupted the mitochondrial dynamics and functions of BA-MSCs. The mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP content of 5-FU-injured BA-MSCs were decreased. Interestingly, when platelet-derived mitochondria were transferred to BA-MSCs, the 5-FU-induced apoptosis was alleviated, and the hematopoietic regulatory ability of 5-FU-injured BA-MSCs was effectively improved by upregulating the expression of mitochondrial fusion genes and hematopoietic regulatory factor genes. Conclusion. BA-MSCs were severely damaged by 5-FU chemotherapy both in vivo and in vitro. Meanwhile, platelet-derived mitochondria could attenuate the 5-FU-induced injury to BA-MSCs, which provides future research directions for exploring the treatment strategies for chemotherapy-injured BA-MSCs and establishes a research basis for related fields.

Research Article

Identification of the Hub Genes Involved in Stem Cell Treatment for Intervertebral Disc Degeneration: A Conjoint Analysis of Single-Cell and Machine Learning

Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD), which is distinguished by a variety of pathologic alterations, is the major cause of low back pain (LBP). Nonetheless, preventative measures or therapies that may delay IDD are scarcely available. In this study, we sought to identify new diagnostic biological markers for IDD. In this first-of-a-kind study combining machine learning, stem cell treatment samples and single-cell sequencing data were collected. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were detected from the treatment group and clusters. To filter potential markers, support vector machine analysis and LASSO were performed. LAPTM5 was found to be the hub gene for IDD. In addition, the results of single-cell sequencing demonstrated the critical function of stem cells in IDD. Finally, we found that aging is significantly associated with the rate of stem cells. In general, our results may offer fresh insights that may be used in the investigation of innovative markers for diagnosing IDD. The critical genes identified by the machine learning algorithm could provide new perspectives on IDD.

Research Article

Matricellular Protein SMOC2 Potentiates BMP9-Induced Osteogenic Differentiation in Mesenchymal Stem Cells through the Enhancement of FAK/PI3K/AKT Signaling

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can self-renew and differentiate into multiple lineages, making MSC transplantation a promising option for bone regeneration. Both matricellular proteins and growth factors play an important role in regulating stem cell fate. In this study, we investigated the effects of matricellular protein SMOC2 (secreted modular calcium-binding protein 2) on bone morphogenetic protein 9 (BMP9) in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and revealed a possible molecular mechanism underlying this process. We found that SMOC2 was detectable in MEFs and that exogenous SMOC2 expression potentiated BMP9-induced osteogenic markers, matrix mineralization, and ectopic bone formation, whereas SMOC2 knockdown inhibited these effects. BMP9 increased the levels of p-FAK and p-AKT, which were either enhanced or reduced by SMOC2 and FAK silencing, respectively. BMP9-induced osteogenic markers were increased by SMOC2, and this increase was partially abolished by silencing FAK or LY290042. Furthermore, we found that general transcription factor 2I (GTF2I) was enriched at the promoter region of SMOC2 and that integrin β1 interacted with SMOC2 in BMP9-treated MEFs. Our findings demonstrate that SMOC2 can promote BMP9-induced osteogenic differentiation by enhancing the FAK/PI3K/AKT pathway, which may be triggered by facilitating the interaction between SMOC2 and integrin β1.

Research Article

Hypoxia-Elicited Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived Small Extracellular Vesicles Alleviate Myocardial Infarction by Promoting Angiogenesis through the miR-214/Sufu Pathway

Objective. Myocardial infarction is a leading cause of mortality worldwide. Angiogenesis in the infarct border zone is vital for heart function restoration after myocardial infarction. Hypoxia-induced MSC modification is a safe and effective approach for angiogenesis in clinical therapy; however, the mechanism still requires further investigation. In our study, we preconditioned human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (huMSCs) with hypoxia and isolated the small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) to promote cardiac repair. We also investigated the potential mechanisms. Method. huMSCs were preconditioned with hypoxia (1% O2 and 5% CO2 at 37°C for 48 hours), and their sEVs were isolated using the Total Exosome Isolation reagent kit. To explore the role of miR-214 in MSC-derived sEVs, sEVs with low miR-214 expression were prepared by transfecting miR-214 inhibitor into huMSCs before hypoxia pretreatment. Scratch assays and tube formation assays were performed in sEVs cocultured with HUVECs to assess the proangiogenic capability of MSC-sEVs and MSChyp-sEVs. Rat myocardial infarction models were used to investigate the ability of miR-214-differentially expressed sEVs in cardiac repair. Echocardiography, Masson’s staining, and immunohistochemical staining for CD31 were performed to assess cardiac function, the ratio of myocardial fibrosis, and the capillary density after sEV implantation. The potential mechanism by which MSChyp-sEVs enhance angiogenesis was explored in vitro by RT–qPCR and western blotting. Results. Tube formation and scratch assays demonstrated that the proangiogenic capability of huMSC-derived sEVs was enhanced by hypoxia pretreatment. Echocardiography and Masson’s staining showed greater improvements in heart function and less ventricular remodeling after MSChyp-sEV transplantation. The angiogenic capability was reduced following miR-214 knockdown in MSChyp-sEVs. Furthermore, Sufu, a target of miR-214, was decreased, and hedgehog signaling was activated in HUVECs. Conclusion. We found that hypoxia induced miR-214 expression both in huMSCs and their sEVs. Transplantation of MSChyp-sEVs into a myocardial infarction model improved cardiac repair by increasing angiogenesis. Mechanistically, MSChyp-sEVs promote HUVEC tube formation and migration by transferring miR-214 into recipient cells, inhibiting Sufu expression, and activating the hedgehog pathway. Hypoxia-induced vesicle modification is a feasible way to restore heart function after myocardial infarction.

Stem Cells International
 Journal metrics
See full report
Acceptance rate30%
Submission to final decision101 days
Acceptance to publication24 days
CiteScore8.800
Journal Citation Indicator0.820
Impact Factor5.131
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Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2021, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.