Periostin Is a Candidate Regulator of the Host Microenvironment in Regeneration of Pulp and Dentin Complex and Periodontal Ligament in Transplantation with Stem Cell-Conditioned MediumRead the full article
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.
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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Different Levels of Autophagy Activity in Mesenchymal Stem Cells Are Involved in the Progression of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is an age-related lung interstitial disease that occurs predominantly in people over 65 years of age and for which there is a lack of effective therapeutic agents. It has demonstrated that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) including alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) can perform repair functions. However, MSCs lose their repair functions due to their distinctive aging characteristics, eventually leading to the progression of IPF. Recent breakthroughs have revealed that the degree of autophagic activity influences the renewal and aging of MSCs and determines the prognosis of IPF. Autophagy is a lysosome-dependent pathway that mediates the degradation and recycling of intracellular material and is an efficient way to renew the nonnuclear (cytoplasmic) part of eukaryotic cells, which is essential for maintaining cellular homeostasis and is a potential target for regulating MSCs function. Therefore, this review focuses on the changes in autophagic activity of MSCs, clarifies the relationship between autophagy and health status of MSCs and the effect of autophagic activity on MSCs senescence and IPF, providing a theoretical basis for promoting the clinical application of MSCs.
Effects of Extracellular Vesicles Derived from Human Umbilical Cord Blood Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Cell Immunity in Nonobese Mice
Autoimmune responses are the most important pathogenic mechanisms underlying type 1 diabetes (T1D). Extracellular vesicles (EVs) derived from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have immunomodulatory effects. In this study, we investigated whether EVs derived from human umbilical cord MSCs (HucMSC-EVs) have treatment effects on nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice as model of T1D. HucMSC-EVs were isolated from human umbilical cord MSCs and characterized. NOD mice (aged 4 weeks) were administered with HucMSC-EVs or the same volume of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) via caudal vein injection twice per week. After 8 weeks of treatment, blood, spleen, and pancreatic samples were collected. Mouse blood glucose levels and body weights were measured during treatment, and insulin concentration and inflammatory cytokine levels were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining and immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining were used to evaluate pathological changes in mouse islets. T lymphocyte subsets were evaluated by flow cytometry, while quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blot (WB) analyses were used to detect the expression of transcription factor and inflammatory cytokines. Our data indicated that HucMSC-EVs treatment reduced blood glucose levels and increased insulin concentration in NOD mice. Levels of interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, and IL-10 were significantly increased and those of IL-1β and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) significantly decreased in the HucMSC-EVs group. The positive ratio of CD4+ T lymphocyte subsets decreased after intravenous injection of HucMSC-EVs, in which the proportion of Th2 cells increased and that of Th1 decreased. GATA-3 and IL-2, IL-4 and IL-10 expression levels were upregulated in spleen on treatment with HucMSC-EVs, whereas those of T-bet and IFN-γ were downregulated. In addition, more inflammatory cell infiltration was detected in the pancreas of control group mice than those treated with HucMSC-EVs. IHC staining showed that Fas/FasL expression and distribution in control group pancreas were higher than those in the HucMSC-EVs group. Together, our findings indicate that HucMSC-EVs have potential to prevent islet injury via T cell immune responses by adjusting the Th1/Th2 ratio to regulate secretion of inflammatory factors.
METTL3-Mediated m6A Modification Regulates the Osteogenic Differentiation through LncRNA CUTALP in Periodontal Mesenchymal Stem Cells of Periodontitis Patients
Objective. Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes loss of periodontal support tissue. Our objective was to investigate the mechanism by which METTL3-mediated N6-methyladenosine modification regulates the osteogenic differentiation through lncRNA in periodontal mesenchymal stem cells in patients with periodontitis (pPDLSCs). Material and Methods. We carried out a series of experiments, including methylated RNA immunoprecipitation-PCR, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and western blotting. The expressions of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), Runx2, Col1, Runx2 protein level, ALP staining, and Alizarin red staining were used to demonstrate the degree of osteogenic differentiation. Results. We found that METTL3 was the most significantly differentially expressed methylation-related enzyme in pPDLSCs and promoted osteogenic differentiation of pPDLSCs. METTL3 regulated the stability and expression of lncRNA CUTALP, while lncRNA CUTALP promoted osteogenic differentiation of pPDLSCs by inhibiting miR-30b-3p. At different time points of osteogenic differentiation, lncRNA CUTALP expression was positively correlated with Runx2, while miR-30b-3p showed the opposite pattern. The attenuated osteogenic differentiation induced by METTL3 knockdown was recovered by lncRNA CUTALP overexpression. The attenuated osteogenic differentiation induced by lncRNA CUTALP knockdown could be reversed by the miR-30b-3p inhibitor. Conclusions. In summary, METTL3/lncRNA CUTALP/miR-30b-3p/Runx2 is a regulatory network in the osteogenic differentiation of pPDLSCs.
The Neural Progenitor Cell-Associated Transcription Factor FoxG1 Regulates Cardiac Epicardial Cell Proliferation
The epicardium is a layer of mesothelial cells that covers the surface of the heart. During development, epicardial cells undergo epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) to form multipotent precursors that migrate into the heart and contribute to the coronary vasculature by differentiating into adventitial fibroblasts, smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells. Epicardial cells also provide paracrine signals to cardiac myocytes that are required for appropriate heart growth. In adult hearts, a similar process of epicardial cell EMT, migration, and differentiation occurs after myocardial infarction (MI, heart attack). Pathological cardiac hypertrophy is associated with fibrosis, negative remodeling, and reduced cardiac function. In contrast, aerobic exercises such as swimming and running promote physiological (i.e., beneficial) hypertrophy, which is associated with angiogenesis and improved cardiac function. As epicardial cell function(s) during physiological hypertrophy are poorly understood, we analyzed and compared the native epicardial cells isolated directly from the hearts of running-exercised mice and age-matched, nonrunning littermates. To obtain epicardial cells, we enzymatically digested the surfaces of whole hearts and performed magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS) with antibodies against CD104 (integrin β4). By cDNA microarray assays, we identified genes with increased transcription in epicardial cells after running exercise; these included FoxG1, a transcription factor that controls neural progenitor cell proliferation during brain development and Snord116, a small noncoding RNA that coordinates expression of genes with epigenetic, circadian, and metabolic functions. In cultured epicardial cells, shRNA-mediated FoxG1 knockdown significantly decreased cell proliferation, as well as Snord116 expression. Our results demonstrate that FoxG1 regulates epicardial proliferation, and suggest it may affect cardiac remodeling.
Development of an m6A-Related lncRNAs Signature Predicts Tumor Stemness and Prognosis for Low-Grade Glioma Patients
Background. Growing evidence has revealed that m6A modification of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) dynamically controls tumor stemness and tumorigenesis-related processes. However, the prognostic significance of m6A-related lncRNAs and their associations with stemness in low-grade glioma (LGG) remain to be clarified. Methods. A multicenter transcriptome analysis of lncRNA expression in 1,247 LGG samples was performed in this study. The stemness landscape of LGG tumors was presented and associations with clinical features were revealed. The m6A-related lncRNAs were identified between stemness groups and were further prioritized via least absolute shrinkage and selection operator Cox regression analysis. A risk score model based on m6A-related lncRNAs was constructed and validated in external LGG datasets. Results. Based on the expression of LINC02984, PFKP-DT, and CRNDE, a risk model and nomogram were constructed; they successfully predicted the survival of patients and were extended to external datasets. Significant correlations were observed between the risk score and tumor stemness. Moreover, patients in different risk groups exhibited distinct tumor immune microenvironments and immune signatures. We finally provided several potential compounds suitable for specific risk groups, which may aid in LGG treatment. Conclusions. This novel signature presents noteworthy value in the prediction of prognosis and stemness status for LGG patients and will foster future research on the development of clinical regimens.
Role of Angiogenesis and Its Biomarkers in Development of Targeted Tumor Therapies
Angiogenesis plays a significant role in the human body, from wound healing to tumor progression. “Angiogenic switch” indicates a time-restricted event where the imbalance between pro- and antiangiogenic factors results in the transition from prevascular hyperplasia to outgrowing vascularized tumor, which eventually leads to the malignant cancer progression. In the last decade, molecular players, i.e., angiogenic biomarkers and underlying molecular pathways involved in tumorigenesis, have been intensely investigated. Disrupting the initiation and halting the progression of angiogenesis by targeting these biomarkers and molecular pathways has been considered as a potential treatment approach for tumor angiogenesis. This review discusses the currently known biomarkers and available antiangiogenic therapies in cancer, i.e., monoclonal antibodies, aptamers, small molecular inhibitors, miRNAs, siRNAs, angiostatin, endostatin, and melatonin analogues, either approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or currently under clinical and preclinical investigations.