Mesenchymal Stem Cells and COVID-19: Cure, Prevention, and VaccinationRead 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.
Latest ArticlesMore articles
Loading Gentamicin and Zn2+ on TiO2 Nanotubes to Improve Anticoagulation, Endothelial Cell Growth, and Antibacterial Activities
Titanium and its alloys are widely used in blood-contacting implantable and interventional medical devices; however, their biocompatibility is still facing great challenges. In the present study, in order to improve the biocompatibility and antibacterial activities of titanium, TiO2 nanotubes were firstly in situ prepared on the titanium surface by anodization, followed by the introduction of polyacrylic acid (PAA) and gentamicin (GS) on the nanotube surface by layer-by-layer assembly, and finally, zinc ions were loaded on the surface to further improve the bioactivities. The nanotubes displayed excellent hydrophilicity and special nanotube-like structure, which can selectively promote the albumin adsorption, enhance the blood compatibility, and promote the growth of endothelial cells to some degree. After the introduction of PAA and GS, although the superhydrophilicity cannot be achieved, the results of platelet adhesion, cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) activity, hemolysis rate, and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) showed that the blood compatibility was improved, and the blood compatibility was further enhanced after zinc ion loading. On the other hand, the modified surface showed good cytocompatibility to endothelial cells. The introduction of PAA and zinc ions not only promoted the adhesion and proliferation of endothelial cells but also upregulated expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and nitric oxide (NO). The slow and continuous release of GS and Zn2+ over 14 days can significantly improve the antibacterial properties. Therefore, the present study provides an effective method for the surface modification of titanium-based blood-contacting materials to simultaneously endow with good blood compatibility, endothelial growth behaviors, and antibacterial properties.
The Opportunities and Challenges regarding Induced Platelets from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
As a standard clinical treatment, platelet transfusion has been employed to prevent hemorrhage in patients with thrombocytopenia or platelet dysfunctions. Platelets also show therapeutic potential for aiding liver regeneration and bone healing and regeneration and for treating dermatological conditions. However, the supply of platelets rarely meets the rising clinical demand. Other issues, including short shelf life, strict storage temperature, and allogeneic immunity caused by frequent platelet transfusions, have become serious challenges that require the development of high-yielding alternative sources of platelets. Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are an unlimited substitution source for regenerative medicine, and patient-derived iPSCs can provide novel research models to explore the pathogenesis of some diseases. Many studies have focused on establishing and modifying protocols for generating functional induced platelets (iPlatelets) from hPSCs. To reach high efficiency production and eliminate the exogenous antigens, media supplements and matrix have been optimized. In addition, the introduction of some critical transgenes, such as c-MYC, BMI1, and BCL-XL, can also significantly increase hPSC-derived platelet production; however, this may pose some safety concerns. Furthermore, many novel culture systems have been developed to scale up the production of iPlatelets, including 2D flow systems, 3D rotary systems, and vertical reciprocal motion liquid culture bioreactors. The development of new gene-editing techniques, such as CRISPR/Cas9, can be used to solve allogeneic immunity of platelet transfusions by knocking out the expression of B2M. Additionally, the functions of iPlatelets were also evaluated from multiple aspects, including but not limited to morphology, structure, cytoskeletal organization, granule content, DNA content, and gene expression. Although the production and functions of iPlatelets are close to meeting clinical application requirements in both quantity and quality, there is still a long way to go for their large-scale production and clinical application. Here, we summarize the diverse methods of platelet production and update the progresses of iPlatelets. Furthermore, we highlight recent advances in our understanding of key transcription factors or molecules that determine the platelet differentiation direction.
Expression Profile of Long Noncoding RNAs and Circular RNAs in Mouse C3H10T1/2 Mesenchymal Stem Cells Undergoing Myogenic and Cardiomyogenic Differentiation
Background. Currently, a heterogeneous category of noncoding RNAs (ncRNA) that directly regulate the expression or function of protein-coding genes is shown to have an effect on the fate decision of stem cells. However, the detailed regulatory roles of ncRNAs in myogenic and cardiomyogenic differentiation of mouse C3H10T1/2 mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are far from clear. Methods. In this study, 5-azacytidine- (5-AZA-) treated C3H10T1/2 cells were differentiated into myocyte-like and cardiomyocyte-like cells. Next, ncRNA associated with myogenic and cardiomyogenic differentiation was identified using high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) data. Bioinformatics analysis was conducted to identify the differentially expressed ncRNAs and the related signaling pathways. Results. Myotube-like structure was formed after 5-AZA treatment of C3H10T1/2 cells. In addition, myogenic and cardiomyogenic differentiation-related genes like GATA4, cTnt, MyoD, and Desmin were upregulated significantly after the 5-AZA treatment. Totally, 1538 differentially expressed lncRNAs and 3398 differentially expressed mRNAs were identified, including 1175 upregulated and 363 downregulated lncRNAs and 2429 upregulated and 969 downregulated mRNAs. In addition, 46 differentially expressed circRNAs were identified, including 25 upregulated and 21 downregulated circRNAs. Moreover, the differentially expressed mRNAs were enriched into 5 significant pathways, including those for focal adhesion, ECM-receptor interaction, PI3K-AKT signaling pathway, PPAR signaling pathway, and Tyrosine metabolism. Conclusions. A systematic view of the expression of ncRNAs in myogenic and cardiomyogenic differentiation of MSCs was provided in the study.
Stem Cells: A Historical Review about Biological, Religious, and Ethical Issues
Stem cells can be used to replace damaged cells or regenerate organs and have broadened our knowledge of the development and progression of certain diseases. Despite significant advances in understanding stem cell biology, several problems limit their use. These problems are related not only to the growth of tumors in animal models and their rejection in transplant cases but also to ethical and social issues about the use of embryonic cells. The ethical-scientific debate on this type of cells has taken on great interest both for their application in regenerative medicine and for the potential possibilities in the field of cell and gene therapy. Different points of view often have the expression of a perception that depends on scientific goals or opportunities or on religious traditions and beliefs. Therefore, as the questions and doubts about when life begins, so do the answers for the use of these cells as therapy or otherwise. So, in addition to the origin of stem cells, there are currently some social bioethical (such as political and legislative issues) and religious dilemmas. The purpose of the study is aimed at being a narrative on the history of stem cells and the evolution of their use to date, as well as to clarify the bioethical position of the various religions today in comparison with the social ones regarding the research and use of embryonic and adult ones. Hence, their biological hypostasis regarding the concepts of “conception” and “fertilization” and their development and therapeutic use compared to those of the main theological doctrines.
Microgravity, Stem Cells, and Cancer: A New Hope for Cancer Treatment
Humans are integrated with the environment where they live. Gravitational force plays an important role in shaping the universe, lives, and even cellular biological processes. Research in the last 40 years has shown how exposure to microgravity changes biological processes. Microgravity has been shown to have significant effects on cellular proliferation, invasion, apoptosis, migration, and gene expression, specifically in tumor cells, and these effects may also exist in stem and cancer stem cells. It has also been shown that microgravity changes the effects of chemotherapeutic drugs. Although studies have been carried out in a simulated microgravity environment in cell culture lines, there are few animal experiments or true microgravity studies. Cancer remains one of the most significant problems worldwide. Despite advances in medical science, no definitive strategies have been found for the prevention of cancer formation or to inform treatment. Thus, the microgravity environment is a potential new therapeutic strategy for future cancer treatment. This review will focus on current knowledge on the impact of the microgravity environment on cancer cells, stem cells, and the biological behavior of cancer stem cells.
Single-Cell Transcriptome Analysis of Human Adipose-Derived Stromal Cells Identifies a Contractile Cell Subpopulation
The potential for human adipose-derived stromal cells (hASCs) to be used as a therapeutic product is being assessed in multiple clinical trials. However, much is still to be learned about these cells before they can be used with confidence in the clinical setting. An inherent characteristic of hASCs that is not well understood is their heterogeneity. The aim of this exploratory study was to characterize the heterogeneity of freshly isolated hASCs after two population doublings (P2) using single-cell transcriptome analysis. A minimum of two subpopulations were identified at P2. A major subpopulation was identified as contractile cells which, based on gene expression patterns, are likely to be pericytes and/or vascular smooth muscle cells (vSMCs).