Stem Cells International
 Journal metrics
Acceptance rate45%
Submission to final decision76 days
Acceptance to publication40 days
CiteScore3.800
Impact Factor3.902
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Effect of Inflammation on Gingival Mesenchymal Stem/Progenitor Cells’ Proliferation and Migration through Microperforated Membranes: An In Vitro Study

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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.

 Special Issues

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

Hypoxia Promotes Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell (VSMC) Differentiation of Adipose-Derived Stem Cell (ADSC) by Regulating Mettl3 and Paracrine Factors

Adipose-derived stem cell (ADSC) is an alternative and less invasive source of mesenchymal stem cells which can be used to develop biological treatment strategies for tissue regeneration, and their therapeutic applications hinge on an understanding of their physiological characteristics. N6-Methyladenosine (m6A) is the most common chemical modification of mRNAs and has recently been revealed to play important roles in cell lineage differentiation and development. However, the role of m6A modification in the vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) differentiation of ADSCs remains unclear. Herein, we investigated the expression of N6-adenosine methyltransferases (Mettl3) and demethylases (Fto and Alkbh5) and found that Mettl3 was upregulated in ADSCs undergoing vascular smooth muscle differentiation induction. Moreover, silence of Mettle3 reduced the expression level of VSMC-specific markers, including α-SMA, SM22α, calponin, and SM-MHC. Meanwhile, Mettl3 knockdown also decreased the expression of paracrine factors, including VEGF, HGF, TGF-β, GM-CSF, bFGF, and SDF-1. In addition, our results suggested that hypoxia stress promotes the ADSC differentiate into VMSCs and regulates the secretion of VEGF, HGF, TGF-β, GM-CSF, bFGF, and SDF-1 by mediating Mettl3 gene expression. These observations might contribute to novel progress in understanding the role of epitranscriptomic regulation in the VSMC differentiation of ADSCs and provide a promising perspective for new therapeutic strategies for tissue regeneration.

Research Article

Copper Does Not Induce Tenogenic Differentiation but Promotes Migration and Increases Lysyl Oxidase Activity in Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells

Background. Copper belongs to the essential trace metals that play a key role in the course of cellular processes maintaining the whole body’s homeostasis. As there is a growing interest in transplanting mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) into the site of injury to improve the regeneration of damaged tendons, the purpose of the study was to verify whether copper supplementation may have a positive effect on the properties of human adipose tissue-derived MSCs (hASCs) which potentially can contribute to improvement of tendon healing. Results. Cellular respiration of hASCs decreased with increasing cupric sulfate concentrations after 5 days of incubation. The treatment with CuSO4 did not positively affect the expression of genes associated with tenogenesis (COL1α1, COL3α1, MKX, and SCX). However, the level of COL1α1 protein, whose transcript was decreased in comparison to a control, was elevated after a 5-day exposition to 25 μM CuSO4. The content of the MKX and SCX protein in hASCs exposed to cupric sulfate was reduced compared to that of untreated control cells, and the level of the COL3α1 protein remained unchanged. The addition of cupric sulfate to hASCs’ medium increased the activity of lysyl oxidase which was positively correlated with concentration of CuSO4. Moreover, a high level of CuSO4 stimulated the action of intracellular superoxide dysmutase. The hASC secretion profile after a 5-day exposure to 50 μM cupric sulfate differed from that of untreated cells and was similar to the secretion profile of human tenocytes. Additionally, cupric sulfate increased secretion of CXCL12 in hASCs. Furthermore, the exposition to the CuSO4 significantly increased directed migration of human ASCs in a dose-dependent manner. Conclusion. Copper sulfate supplementation can have a beneficial effect on tendon regeneration not by inducing tenogenic differentiation, but by improving the recruitment of MSCs to the site of injury, where they can secrete growth factors, cytokines and chemokines, and prevent the effects of oxidative stress at the site of inflammation, as well as improve the stabilization of collagen fibers, thereby accelerating the process of tendon healing.

Research Article

Curcumin-Activated Mesenchymal Stem Cells Derived from Human Umbilical Cord and Their Effects on MPTP-Mouse Model of Parkinson’s Disease: A New Biological Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease

Background. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell activated by curcumin (hUC-MSCs-CUR) on Parkinson’s disease (PD). hUC-MSCs can differentiate into many types of adult tissue cells including dopaminergic (DA) neurons. CUR could protect DA neurons from apoptosis induced by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). Therefore, we used the hUC-MSCs activated by CUR for the treatment of PD in an animal model. Methods. The hUC-MSCs-CUR was transplanted into the MPTP-induced PD mouse models via the tail vein. We found that hUC-MSCs-CUR significantly improved the motor ability, increased the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine (DA), and Bcl-2 levels, and reduced nitric oxide synthase, Bax, and cleaved caspase 3 expression in PD mice. The supernatant of hUC-MSCs-CUR (CM-CUR) was used to stimulate the SH-SY5Y cellular model of PD; cell proliferation, differentiation, TH, and neuronal-specific marker microtubular-associated protein 2 (MAP2) expressions were examined. Results. Our data showed that CM-CUR significantly promoted cell proliferation and gradually increased TH and MAP2 expression in SH-SY5Y PD cells. The beneficial effects could be associated with significant increase of rough endoplasmic reticulum in the hUC-MSCs-CUR, which secretes many cytokines and growth factors beneficial for PD treatment. Conclusions. Transplantation of hUC-MSCs-CUR could show promise for improving the motor recovery of PD.

Research Article

Modulation of Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cell Transcriptome by G-CSF Stimulation

Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) exhibit multidifferentiation potential, paralleled with immunomodulatory and trophic properties that make them viable alternative tools for the treatment of degenerative disorders, allograft rejection, autoimmune diseases, and tissue regeneration. MSC functional attributes can be modulated by exposing them to inflammatory-stimulating microenvironments (i.e., priming) before their therapeutic use. Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is a cytokine that plays key roles in immune response and hematopoiesis modulation through direct effects on hematopoietic progenitors’ proliferation, survival, and mobilization. Despite the established roles of MSCs supporting hematopoiesis, the effects of G-CSF on MSCs biology have not been thoroughly explored. This study reveals that G-CSF has also direct effects on adipose-derived MSCs (ADSCs), modulating their functions. Herein, microarray-based transcriptomic analysis shows that G-CSF stimulation in vitro results in modulation of various signaling pathways including ones related with the metabolism of hyaluronan (HA), conferring a profile of cell mobilization to ADSCs, mediated in a cell-intrinsic fashion in part by reducing CD44 expression and HA synthesis-related genes. Collectively, these data suggest a direct modulatory effect of G-CSF on ADSC function, potentially altering their therapeutic capacity and thus the design of future clinical protocols.

Research Article

Highly Proliferative Immortalized Human Dental Pulp Cells Retain the Odontogenic Phenotype when Combined with a Beta-Tricalcium Phosphate Scaffold and BMP2

Human dental pulp cells (HDPCs) play a vital role in dentin formation and reparative dentinogenesis, which indicated their potential application in regenerative medicine. However, HDPCs, which can only be obtained from scarce human pulp tissues, also have a limited lifespan in vitro, and stem cells usually lose their original characteristics over a large number of passages. To overcome these challenges, we successfully immortalized human dental pulp cells using the piggyBac system which was employed to efficiently overexpress the SV40 T-Ag, and we then comprehensively described the cell biological behavior. The immortalized human dental pulp cells (iHDPCs) acquired long-term proliferative activity and expressed most HDPC markers. The iHDPCs maintained multiple differentiation potential and could be induced to differentiate into chondrogenic, osteogenic, and adipogenic cells in vitro. We also proved that the iHDPCs gained a stronger ability to migrate than the primary cells, while apoptosis was inhibited. Furthermore, highly proliferative iHDPCs displayed no oncogenicity when subcutaneously implanted into athymic nude mice. Finally, iHDPCs exhibited odontogenic differentiation ability and secreted dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP) when combined with a beta-tricalcium phosphate scaffold and bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP2) in vivo. Conclusively, the established iHDPCs are a valuable resource for mechanistic study of dental pulp cell differentiation and dental pulp injury repair, as well as for applications in tooth regeneration.

Research Article

Safety and Localization of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Derived from Human Adipose Tissue-Associated Hyaluronic Acid: A Preclinical Study

Millions of plastic surgeries are performed worldwide every year with the objective of correcting lipodystrophies stemming from lesions, tumor resections, birth defects, and AIDS-associated antiretroviral therapy. Besides that, a large number of clinical research have assessed the outcome of procedures that rely on combinations of dermal fillers and autologous cells. However, little is known about the safety of these combinations and the localization of the injected cells. The aim of this study was to test the toxicity of a solution containing 1% hyaluronic acid (HA) and adipose-derived stromal cells (ASCs) from the human adipose tissue and to assess the localization of the injected cells, with and without HA, labeled with technetium-99m. Rats received subcutaneous and intraperitoneal injections of a solution containing 1% HA/adipose-derived stromal cells isolated from the human fat tissue. The animals were then observed for up to forty-two days. The solution tested in this study did not result in systemic, biochemical, or anatomic alterations that could represent toxicity symptoms. The association of HA and ASCs labeled with technetium-99m remained at the site of the injection within a period of twenty-four hours, as demonstrated by a whole-body imaging software fusion of SPECT and CT. In conclusion, our study shows that the subcutaneous and intraperitoneal injection of HA associated with adipose-derived stromal cells (ASCs) is safe. The association of HA and ASCs did not induce local or systemic toxicity. Thus, the administration of volume equal to or less than 0.2 mL of the agent filler (6 ASC+HA 1%) should be considered for subsequent studies and may be an alternative to dermal fillers due to the expected lasting effects.

Stem Cells International
 Journal metrics
Acceptance rate45%
Submission to final decision76 days
Acceptance to publication40 days
CiteScore3.800
Impact Factor3.902
 Submit