Stem Cells International The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Periodontal Ligament Stem Cells in the Periodontitis Microenvironment Are Sensitive to Static Mechanical Strain Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 During orthodontic treatment, periodontium remodeling of periodontitis patients under mechanical force was abnormal. We have previously confirmed the function impairment of periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs) in the periodontitis microenvironment which might be involved in this pathological process. However, the response of PDLSCs in periodontitis microenvironment to mechanical force remains unclear. Therefore, in the present study, we introduced a Flexcell tension apparatus and investigated the response of PDLSCs obtained from periodontal tissues of periodontitis patients (PPDLSCs) and of those obtained from healthy periodontal tissues (HPDLSCs) to different magnitudes of static mechanical strain (SMS). PPDLSCs showed increased proliferation, decreased osteogenic activity, activated osteoclastogenesis, and greater secretion of inflammatory cytokines. Different magnitudes of SMS exerted distinct effects on HPDLSCs and PPDLSCs. An SMS of 12% induced optimal effects in HPDLSCs, including the highest proliferation, the best osteogenic ability, the lowest osteoclastogenesis, and the lowest secretion of inflammatory cytokines, while the optimal SMS for PPDLSCs was 8%. Excessive SMS damaged PPDLSCs function, including decreased proliferation, an imbalance between osteogenesis and osteoclastogenesis, and an activated inflammatory response. Our data suggest that PPDLSCs are more sensitive and less tolerant to SMS, and this may explain why mechanical force results in undesirable effects in periodontitis patients. Jia Liu, Qiang Li, Shiyu Liu, Jie Gao, Wen Qin, Yang Song, and Zuolin Jin Copyright © 2017 Jia Liu et al. All rights reserved. Mesenchymal Stem Cell Administration in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: State of the Science Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:33:58 +0000 Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have chronic, irreversible airway inflammation; currently, there is no effective or curative treatment and the main goals of COPD management are to mitigate symptoms and improve patients’ quality of life. Stem cell based therapy offers a promising therapeutic approach that has shown potential in diverse degenerative lung diseases. Preclinical studies have demonstrated encouraging outcomes of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) therapy for lung disorders including emphysema, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, fibrosis, and acute respiratory distress syndrome. This review summarizes available data on 15 studies currently registered by the repository, which used different stem cell therapy protocols for COPD; these included bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMCs), bone marrow-derived MSCs, adipose-derived stem/stromal cells (ADSCs), and adipose-derived MSCs. Published results of three trials indicate that administering BMMCs or MSCs in the setting of degenerative lung disease is safe and may improve patients’ condition and quality of life; however, larger-scale studies are needed to evaluate efficacy. Results of another completed trial (NCT01872624) are not yet published, and eleven other studies are ongoing; these include MSCs therapy in emphysema, several studies of ADSCs in COPD, another in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and plerixafor mobilization of CD117 stem cells to peripheral blood. Shih-Lung Cheng, Ching-Hsiung Lin, and Chao-Ling Yao Copyright © 2017 Shih-Lung Cheng et al. All rights reserved. Promising Therapeutic Strategies for Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Based Cardiovascular Regeneration: From Cell Priming to Tissue Engineering Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The primary cause of death among chronic diseases worldwide is ischemic cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke and myocardial infarction. Recent evidence indicates that adult stem cell therapies involving cardiovascular regeneration represent promising strategies to treat cardiovascular diseases. Owing to their immunomodulatory properties and vascular repair capabilities, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are strong candidate therapeutic stem cells for use in cardiovascular regeneration. However, major limitations must be overcome, including their very low survival rate in ischemic lesion. Various attempts have been made to improve the poor survival and longevity of engrafted MSCs. In order to develop novel therapeutic strategies, it is necessary to first identify stem cell modulators for intracellular signal triggering or niche activation. One promising therapeutic strategy is the priming of therapeutic MSCs with stem cell modulators before transplantation. Another is a tissue engineering-based therapeutic strategy involving a cell scaffold, a cell-protein-scaffold architecture made of biomaterials such as ECM or hydrogel, and cell patch- and 3D printing-based tissue engineering. This review focuses on the current clinical applications of MSCs for treating cardiovascular diseases and highlights several therapeutic strategies for promoting the therapeutic efficacy of MSCs in vitro or in vivo from cell priming to tissue engineering strategies, for use in cardiovascular regeneration. Seung Taek Ji, Hyunyun Kim, Jisoo Yun, Joo Seop Chung, and Sang-Mo Kwon Copyright © 2017 Seung Taek Ji et al. All rights reserved. De Novo Human Cardiac Myocytes for Medical Research: Promises and Challenges Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The advent of cellular reprogramming technology has revolutionized biomedical research. De novo human cardiac myocytes can now be obtained from direct reprogramming of somatic cells (such as fibroblasts), from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs, which are reprogrammed from somatic cells), and from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Such de novo human cardiac myocytes hold great promise for in vitro disease modeling and drug screening and in vivo cell therapy of heart disease. Here, we review the technique advancements for generating de novo human cardiac myocytes. We also discuss several challenges for the use of such cells in research and regenerative medicine, such as the immature phenotype and heterogeneity of de novo cardiac myocytes obtained with existing protocols. We focus on the recent advancements in addressing such challenges. Veronique Hamel, Kang Cheng, Shudan Liao, Aizhu Lu, Yong Zheng, Yawen Chen, Yucai Xie, and Wenbin Liang Copyright © 2017 Veronique Hamel et al. All rights reserved. Predicting the Remaining Lifespan and Cultivation-Related Loss of Osteogenic Capacity of Bone Marrow Multipotential Stromal Cells Applicable across a Broad Donor Age Range Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Background and Objectives. Culture expanded multipotential stromal cells (MSCs) have considerable potential for bone regeneration therapy but their wider use is constrained by the lack of simple and predictive assays of functional potency. Extended passaging leads to loss of multipotency but speed of decline depends on MSC donor age. The aim of this study was to develop an assay predictive of MSC culture longevity applicable to a broad donor age range. Materials and Methods. Bone marrow (BM, ) was obtained from a diverse range (2–72 years) of healthy donors. MSCs were culture expanded to senescence and their osteoprogenitor content, gene expression profiles, epigenetic signature, and telomere behaviour were measured throughout. Output data was combined for modelling purposes. Results. Regardless of donor age, cultures’ osteoprogenitor content correlated better with remaining lifespan (population doublings before senescence, PD-BS) than proliferative history (accrued PDs). Individual gene’s expression or telomere length did not predict PD-BS but methylation of individual CpG islands did, PRAMEF2 in particular (). Coupling the steep relationship of relative SPARC expression with PD-BS () the formula SPARC × 1/PREMEF2 gave an improved correlation (). Conclusion. A formula based on SPARC mRNA and PRAMEF2 methylation may be used to predict remaining BM-MSC longevity and related loss of multipotentiality independent of donor age. Sarah M. Churchman, Sally A. Boxall, Dennis McGonagle, and Elena A. Jones Copyright © 2017 Sarah M. Churchman et al. All rights reserved. The Roles of Insulin-Like Growth Factors in Mesenchymal Stem Cell Niche Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Many tissues contain adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which may be used in tissue regeneration therapies. However, the MSC availability in most tissues is limited which demands expansion in vitro following isolation. Like many developing cells, the state of MSCs is affected by the surrounding microenvironment, and mimicking this natural microenvironment that supports multipotent or differentiated state in vivo is essential to understand for the successful use of MSC in regenerative therapies. Many researchers are, therefore, optimizing cell culture conditions in vitro by altering growth factors, extracellular matrices, chemicals, oxygen tension, and surrounding pH to enhance stem cells self-renewal or differentiation. Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) system has been demonstrated to play an important role in stem cell biology to either promote proliferation and self-renewal or enhance differentiation onset and outcome, depending on the cell culture conditions. In this review, we will describe the importance of IGFs, IGF-1 and IGF-2, in development and in the MSC niche and how they affect the pluripotency or differentiation towards multiple lineages of the three germ layers. Amer Youssef, Doaa Aboalola, and Victor K. M. Han Copyright © 2017 Amer Youssef et al. All rights reserved. Biological Characteristics of Fluorescent Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Labeled Human Dental Pulp Stem Cells Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Tracking transplanted stem cells is necessary to clarify cellular properties and improve transplantation success. In this study, we investigate the effects of fluorescent superparamagnetic iron oxide particles (SPIO) (Molday ION Rhodamine-B™, MIRB) on biological properties of human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) and monitor hDPSCs in vitro and in vivo using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Morphological analysis showed that intracellular MIRB particles were distributed in the cytoplasm surrounding the nuclei of hDPSCs. 12.5–100 μg/mL MIRB all resulted in 100% labeling efficiency. MTT showed that 12.5–50 μg/mL MIRB could promote cell proliferation and MIRB over 100 μg/mL exhibited toxic effect on hDPSCs. In vitro MRI showed that 1 × 106 cells labeled with various concentrations of MIRB (12.5–100 μg/mL) could be visualized. In vivo MRI showed that transplanted cells could be clearly visualized up to 60 days after transplantation. These results suggest that 12.5–50 μg/mL MIRB is a safe range for labeling hDPSCs. MIRB labeled hDPSCs cell can be visualized by MRI in vitro and in vivo. These data demonstrate that MIRB is a promising candidate for hDPSCs tracking in hDPSCs based dental pulp regeneration therapy. Liang Ma, Ming-wei Li, Yu Bai, Hui-hui Guo, Sheng-chao Wang, and Qing Yu Copyright © 2017 Liang Ma et al. All rights reserved. Therapeutic Potential of Olfactory Ensheathing Cells and Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Spinal Cord Injuries Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating neurological condition that affects individuals worldwide, significantly reducing quality of life, for both patients and their families. In recent years there has been a growing interest in cell therapy potential in the context of spinal cord injuries. The present review aims to discuss and compare the restorative approaches based on the current knowledge, available spinal cord restorative cell therapies, and use of selected cell types. However, treatment options for spinal cord injury are limited, but rehabilitation and experimental technologies have been found to help maintain or improve remaining nerve function in some cases. Mesenchymal stem cells as well as olfactory ensheathing cells seem to show therapeutic impact on damaged spinal cord and might be useful in neuroregeneration. Recent research in animal models and first human trials give patients with spinal cord injuries hope for recovery. Zadroga Anna, Jezierska-Woźniak Katarzyna, Czarzasta Joanna, Monika Barczewska, Wojtkiewicz Joanna, and Maksymowicz Wojciech Copyright © 2017 Zadroga Anna et al. All rights reserved. Transcriptome Profiling of IL-17A Preactivated Mesenchymal Stem Cells: A Comparative Study to Unmodified and IFN-γ Modified Mesenchymal Stem Cells Wed, 15 Feb 2017 12:06:01 +0000 Human mesenchymal stem cells pretreatment with IL-17A (MSC-17) potently enhances T cell immunosuppression but not their immunogenicity, in addition to avidly promoting the induction of suppressive regulatory T cells. The aim of this study was to identify potential mechanisms by which human MSC-17 mediate their superior immunomodulatory function. Untreated-MSC (UT-MSC), IFN-γ treated MSC (MSC-γ), and MSC-17 were assessed for their gene expression profile by microarray. Significantly regulated genes were identified for their biological functions (Database for Annotation, Visualisation and Integrated Discovery, DAVID). Microarray analyses identified 1278 differentially regulated genes between MSC-γ and UT-MSC and 67 genes between MSC-17 and UT-MSC. MSC-γ were enriched for genes involved in immune response, antigen processing and presentation, humoral response, and complement activation, consistent with increased MSC-γ immunogenicity. MSC-17 genes were associated with chemotaxis response, which may be involved in T cell recruitment for MSC-17 immunosuppression. MMP1, MMP13, and CXCL6 were highly and specifically expressed in MSC-17, which was further validated by real-time PCR. Thus, MMPs and chemokines may play a key role in mediating MSC-17 superior immunomodulatory function. MSC-17 represent a potential cellular therapy to suppress immunological T cell responses mediated by expression of an array of immunoregulatory molecules. Kisha Nandini Sivanathan, Darling Rojas-Canales, Shane T. Grey, Stan Gronthos, and Patrick T. Coates Copyright © 2017 Kisha Nandini Sivanathan et al. All rights reserved. Mesenchymal Stem Cells for the Treatment of Spinal Arthrodesis: From Preclinical Research to Clinical Scenario Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The use of spinal fusion procedures has rapidly augmented over the last decades and although autogenous bone graft is the “gold standard” for these procedures, alternatives to its use have been investigated over many years. A number of emerging strategies as well as tissue engineering with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been planned to enhance spinal fusion rate. This descriptive systematic literature review summarizes the in vivo studies, dealing with the use of MSCs in spinal arthrodesis surgery and the state of the art in clinical applications. The review has yielded promising evidence supporting the use of MSCs as a cell-based therapy in spinal fusion procedures, thus representing a suitable biological approach able to reduce the high cost of osteoinductive factors as well as the high dose needed to induce bone formation. Nevertheless, despite the fact that MSCs therapy is an interesting and important opportunity of research, in this review it was detected that there are still doubts about the optimal cell concentration and delivery method as well as the ideal implantation techniques and the type of scaffolds for cell delivery. Thus, further inquiry is necessary to carefully evaluate the clinical safety and efficacy of MSCs use in spine fusion. F. Salamanna, M. Sartori, G. Barbanti Brodano, C. Griffoni, L. Martini, S. Boriani, and M. Fini Copyright © 2017 F. Salamanna et al. All rights reserved. Mesenchymal Stem and Progenitor Cells in Regeneration: Tissue Specificity and Regenerative Potential Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 It has always been an ambitious goal in medicine to repair or replace morbid tissues for regaining the organ functionality. This challenge has recently gained momentum through considerable progress in understanding the biological concept of the regenerative potential of stem cells. Routine therapeutic procedures are about to shift towards the use of biological and molecular armamentarium. The potential use of embryonic stem cells and invention of induced pluripotent stem cells raised hope for clinical regenerative purposes; however, the use of these interventions for regenerative therapy showed its dark side, as many health concerns and ethical issues arose in terms of using these cells in clinical applications. In this regard, adult stem cells climbed up to the top list of regenerative tools and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) showed promise for regenerative cell therapy with a rather limited level of risk. MSC have been successfully isolated from various human tissues and they have been shown to offer the possibility to establish novel therapeutic interventions for a variety of hard-to-noncurable diseases. There have been many elegant studies investigating the impact of MSC in regenerative medicine. This review provides compact information on the role of stem cells, in particular, MSC in regeneration. Rokhsareh Rohban and Thomas Rudolf Pieber Copyright © 2017 Rokhsareh Rohban and Thomas Rudolf Pieber. All rights reserved. β-Arrestin1/miR-326 Transcription Unit Is Epigenetically Regulated in Neural Stem Cells Where It Controls Stemness and Growth Arrest Sun, 12 Feb 2017 12:16:26 +0000 Cell development is regulated by a complex network of mRNA-encoded proteins and microRNAs, all funnelling onto the modulation of self-renewal or differentiation genes. How intragenic microRNAs and their host genes are transcriptionally coregulated and their functional relationships for the control of neural stem cells (NSCs) are poorly understood. We propose here the intragenic miR-326 and its host gene β-arrestin1 as novel players whose epigenetic silencing maintains stemness in normal cerebellar stem cells. Such a regulation is mediated by CpG islands methylation of the common promoter. Epigenetic derepression of β-arrestin1/miR-326 by differentiation signals or demethylating agents leads to suppression of stemness features and cell growth and promotes cell differentiation. β-Arrestin1 inhibits cell proliferation by enhancing the nuclear expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27. Therefore, we propose a new mechanism for the control of cerebellar NSCs where a coordinated epigenetic mechanism finely regulates β-arrestin1/miR-326 expression and consequently NSCs stemness and cell growth. Agnese Po, Federica Begalli, Luana Abballe, Vincenzo Alfano, Zein Mersini Besharat, Giuseppina Catanzaro, Alessandra Vacca, Maddalena Napolitano, Marco Tafani, Felice Giangaspero, Franco Locatelli, Elisabetta Ferretti, and Evelina Miele Copyright © 2017 Agnese Po et al. All rights reserved. Intravenous Administration of Adipose-Derived Stem Cell Protein Extracts Improves Neurological Deficits in a Rat Model of Stroke Tue, 07 Feb 2017 09:14:01 +0000 Treatment of adipose-derived stem cell (ADSC) substantially improves the neurological deficits during stroke by reducing neuronal injury, limiting proinflammatory immune responses, and promoting neuronal repair, which makes ADSC-based therapy an attractive approach for treating stroke. However, the potential risk of tumorigenicity and low survival rate of the implanted cells limit the clinical use of ADSC. Cell-free extracts from ADSC (ADSC-E) may be a feasible approach that could overcome these limitations. Here, we aim to explore the potential usage of ADSC-E in treating rat transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO). We demonstrated that intravenous (IV) injection of ADSC-E remarkably reduces the ischemic lesion and number of apoptotic neurons as compared to other control groups. Although ADSC and ADSC-E treatment results in a similar degree of a long-term clinical beneficial outcome, the dynamics between two ADSC-based therapies are different. While the injection of ADSC leads to a relatively mild but prolonged therapeutic effect, the administration of ADSC-E results in a fast and pronounced clinical improvement which was associated with a unique change in the molecular signature suggesting that potential mechanisms underlying different therapeutic approach may be different. Together these data provide translational evidence for using protein extracts from ADSC for treating stroke. Kai Zhao, Rui Li, Changcong Gu, Long Liu, Yulong Jia, Xize Guo, Wanping Zhang, Chunying Pei, Linlu Tian, Bo Li, Jianrong Jia, Huakun Cheng, Hongwei Xu, and Lixian Li Copyright © 2017 Kai Zhao et al. All rights reserved. Evaluating Wharton’s Jelly-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell’s Survival, Migration, and Expression of Wound Repair Markers under Conditions of Ischemia-Like Stress Tue, 07 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The efficacy of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy is currently limited by low retention and poor survival of transplanted cells as demonstrated by clinical studies. This is mainly due to the harsh microenvironment created by oxygen and nutrient deprivation and inflammation at the injured sites. The choice of MSC source could be critical in determining fate and cellular function of MSCs under stress. Our objective here was to investigate the influence of ischemia-like stress on Wharton’s jelly MSCs (WJ-MSCs) from human umbilical cord to assess their therapeutic relevance in ischemic diseases. We simulated conditions of ischemia in vitro by culturing WJ-MSCs in 2% oxygen in serum deprived and low glucose medium. Under these conditions, WJ-MSCs retained viable population of greater than 80%. They expressed the characteristic MSC surface antigens at levels comparable to the control WJ-MSCs and were negative for the expression of costimulatory molecules. An upregulation of many ECM and adhesion molecules and growth and angiogenic factors contributing to wound healing and regeneration was noted in the ischemic WJ-MSC population by a PCR array. Their migration ability, however, got impaired. Our findings provide evidence that WJ-MSCs might be therapeutically beneficial and potent in healing wounds under ischemic conditions. Iris Himal, Umesh Goyal, and Malancha Ta Copyright © 2017 Iris Himal et al. All rights reserved. Capacity of Human Dental Follicle Cells to Differentiate into Neural Cells In Vitro Sun, 05 Feb 2017 06:51:43 +0000 The dental follicle is an ectomesenchymal tissue surrounding the developing tooth germ. Human dental follicle cells (hDFCs) have the capacity to commit to differentiation into multiple cell types. Here we investigated the capacity of hDFCs to differentiate into neural cells and the efficiency of a two-step strategy involving floating neurosphere-like bodies for neural differentiation. Undifferentiated hDFCs showed a spindle-like morphology and were positive for neural markers such as nestin, β-III-tubulin, and S100β. The cellular morphology of several cells was neuronal-like including branched dendrite-like processes and neurites. Next, hDFCs were used for neurosphere formation in serum-free medium containing basic fibroblast growth factor, epidermal growth factor, and B27 supplement. The number of cells with neuronal-like morphology and that were strongly positive for neural markers increased with sphere formation. Gene expression of neural markers also increased in hDFCs with sphere formation. Next, gene expression of neural markers was examined in hDFCs during neuronal differentiation after sphere formation. Expression of Musashi-1 and Musashi-2, MAP2, GFAP, MBP, and SOX10 was upregulated in hDFCs undergoing neuronal differentiation via neurospheres, whereas expression of nestin and β-III-tubulin was downregulated. In conclusion, hDFCs may be another optimal source of neural/glial cells for cell-based therapies to treat neurological diseases. Shingo Kanao, Naomi Ogura, Kosuke Takahashi, Ko Ito, Masaaki Suemitsu, Kayo Kuyama, and Toshirou Kondoh Copyright © 2017 Shingo Kanao et al. All rights reserved. Stem Cells in Cartilage Regeneration Thu, 02 Feb 2017 07:46:24 +0000 Jianying Zhang, Shiwu Dong, Wesley Sivak, Hui Bin Sun, and Kai Tao Copyright © 2017 Jianying Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Overexpression of Heme Oxygenase-1 in Mesenchymal Stem Cells Augments Their Protection on Retinal Cells In Vitro and Attenuates Retinal Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury In Vivo against Oxidative Stress Wed, 01 Feb 2017 13:58:14 +0000 Retinal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury, involving several ocular diseases, seriously threatens human ocular health, mainly treated by attenuating I/R-induced oxidative stress. Currently, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) could restore I/R-injured retina through paracrine secretion. Additionally, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) could ameliorate oxidative stress and thus retinal apoptosis, but the expression of HO-1 in MSC is limited. Here, we hypothesized that overexpression of HO-1 in MSC (MSC-HO-1) may significantly improve their retina-protective potentials. The overexpression of HO-1 in MSC was achieved by lentivirus transduction. Then, MSC or MSC-HO-1 was cocultured with retinal ganglion cells (RGC-5) in H2O2-simulated oxidative condition and their protection on RGC-5 was systemically valuated in vitro. Compared with MSC, MSC-HO-1 significantly attenuated H2O2-induced injury of RGC-5, including decrease in cellular ROS level and apoptosis, activation of antiapoptotic proteins p-Akt and Bcl-2, and blockage of proapoptotic proteins cleaved caspase 3 and Bax. In retinal I/R rats model, compared with control MSC, MSC-HO-1-treated retina significantly retrieved its structural thickness, reduced cell apoptosis, markedly attenuated retinal oxidative stress level, and largely regained the activities of typical antioxidant enzymes, SOD and CAT. Therefore, it could be concluded that overexpression of HO-1 provides a promising strategy to enhance the MSC-based therapy for I/R-related retinal injury. Li Li, GaiPing Du, DaJiang Wang, Jin Zhou, Guomin Jiang, and Hua Jiang Copyright © 2017 Li Li et al. All rights reserved. Allogeneic Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Ameliorate Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis by Regulating Self-Reactive T Cell Responses and Dendritic Cell Function Mon, 30 Jan 2017 11:49:23 +0000 Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have emerged as a promising therapy for autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS). Administration of MSCs to MS patients has proven safe with signs of immunomodulation but their therapeutic efficacy remains low. The aim of the current study has been to further characterize the immunomodulatory mechanisms of adipose tissue-derived MSCs (ASCs) in vitro and in vivo using the EAE model of chronic brain inflammation in mice. We found that murine ASCs (mASCs) suppress T cell proliferation in vitro via inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase- (COX-) 1/2 activities. mASCs also prevented the lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) induced maturation of dendritic cells (DCs) in vitro. The addition of the COX-1/2 inhibitor indomethacin, but not the iNOS inhibitor L-NAME, reversed the block in DC maturation implicating prostaglandin (PG) E2 in this process. In vivo, early administration of murine and human ASCs (hASCs) ameliorated myelin oligodendrocyte protein- (MOG35-55-) induced EAE in C57Bl/6 mice. Mechanistic studies showed that mASCs suppressed the function of autoantigen-specific T cells and also decreased the frequency of activated (CD11c+ and CD11c+TNF-α+) DCs in draining lymph nodes (DLNs). In summary, these data suggest that mASCs reduce EAE severity, in part, through the impairment of DC and T cell function. Per Anderson, Elena Gonzalez-Rey, Francisco O’Valle, Francisco Martin, F. Javier Oliver, and Mario Delgado Copyright © 2017 Per Anderson et al. All rights reserved. Preferential Lineage-Specific Differentiation of Osteoblast-Derived Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells into Osteoprogenitors Mon, 30 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000 While induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) hold great clinical promise, one hurdle that remains is the existence of a parental germ-layer memory in reprogrammed cells leading to preferential differentiation fates. While it is problematic for generating cells vastly different from the reprogrammed cells’ origins, it could be advantageous for the reliable generation of germ-layer specific cell types for future therapeutic use. Here we use human osteoblast-derived iPSCs (hOB-iPSCs) to generate induced osteoprogenitors (iOPs). Osteoblasts were successfully reprogrammed and demonstrated by endogenous upregulation of Oct4, Sox2, Nanog, TRA-1-81, TRA-16-1, SSEA3, and confirmatory hPSC Scorecard Algorithmic Assessment. The hOB-iPSCs formed embryoid bodies with cells of ectoderm and mesoderm but have low capacity to form endodermal cells. Differentiation into osteoprogenitors occurred within only 2–6 days, with a population doubling rate of less than 24 hrs; however, hOB-iPSC derived osteoprogenitors were only able to form osteogenic and chondrogenic cells but not adipogenic cells. Consistent with this, hOB-iOPs were found to have higher methylation of PPARγ but similar levels of methylation on the RUNX2 promoter. These data demonstrate that iPSCs can be generated from human osteoblasts, but variant methylation patterns affect their differentiation capacities. Therefore, epigenetic memory can be exploited for efficient generation of clinically relevant quantities of osteoprogenitor cells. Casey L. Roberts, Silvia S. Chen, Angela C. Murchison, Rebecca A. Ogle, Michael P. Francis, Roy C. Ogle, and Patrick C. Sachs Copyright © 2017 Casey L. Roberts et al. All rights reserved. Canine Adipose Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Transcriptome Composition Alterations: A Step towards Standardizing Therapeutic Thu, 26 Jan 2017 11:07:56 +0000 Although canine adipose derived stem cells (cASCs) morphology characteristics and differentiation ability are well documented, transcriptome alterations of undifferentiated cASCs during ex vivo cultivation remain unknown. Here we demonstrate, for the first time, the transcriptome composition of isolated cASCs in undifferentiated state originating from six donors. Transcriptome changes were monitored during ex vivo cultivation between passage 3 (P3) and P5, which are mostly used in therapy. Influence of donors’ age in given passage number on transcriptome composition was also investigated. Cultivation from P3 to P5 resulted in 16 differentially expressed genes with cooverexpression of pluripotency and self-renewal transcription factors genes SOX2 and POU5F1 dominant in old donors’ cells. Furthermore, cASCs demonstrated upregulation of IL-6 in young and old donors’ cells. In addition, ex vivo cultivation of cASCs revealed well-known morphological alterations accompanied with decrease in expression of CD90 and CD44 markers in P4 and higher monitored by flow cytometry and successful osteo- and chondrodifferentiation but inefficient adipodifferentiation in P3. Our results revealed the impact of ex vivo cultivation on nature of cells. Correlation of transcriptome changes with secretome composition is needed and its further impact on therapeutic potential of cASCs remains to be evaluated in clinical trials. Nina Krešić, Ivana Šimić, Ivana Lojkić, and Tomislav Bedeković Copyright © 2017 Nina Krešić et al. All rights reserved. Advances and Prospects in Stem Cells for Cartilage Regeneration Thu, 26 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The histological features of cartilage call attention to the fact that cartilage has a little capacity to repair itself owing to the lack of a blood supply, nerves, or lymphangion. Stem cells have emerged as a promising option in the field of cartilage tissue engineering and regenerative medicine and could lead to cartilage repair. Much research has examined cartilage regeneration utilizing stem cells. However, both the potential and the limitations of this procedure remain controversial. This review presents a summary of emerging trends with regard to using stem cells in cartilage tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. In particular, it focuses on the characterization of cartilage stem cells, the chondrogenic differentiation of stem cells, and the various strategies and approaches involving stem cells that have been used in cartilage repair and clinical studies. Based on the research into chondrocyte and stem cell technologies, this review discusses the damage and repair of cartilage and the clinical application of stem cells, with a view to increasing our systematic understanding of the application of stem cells in cartilage regeneration; additionally, several advanced strategies for cartilage repair are discussed. Mingjie Wang, Zhiguo Yuan, Ning Ma, Chunxiang Hao, Weimin Guo, Gengyi Zou, Yu Zhang, Mingxue Chen, Shuang Gao, Jiang Peng, Aiyuan Wang, Yu Wang, Xiang Sui, Wenjing Xu, Shibi Lu, Shuyun Liu, and Quanyi Guo Copyright © 2017 Mingjie Wang et al. All rights reserved. Identification of Stem Leydig Cells Derived from Pig Testicular Interstitium Tue, 24 Jan 2017 14:00:59 +0000 Stem Leydig cells (SLCs), located in the testicular interstitial compartment in the mammalian testes, are capable of differentiating to testosterone-synthesizing Leydig cells (LCs), thus providing a new strategy for treating testosterone deficiency. However, no previous reports have identified and cultured SLCs derived from the pig. The aim of the current study was to isolate, identify, and culture SLCs from pigs. Haematoxylin and eosin staining and immunochemical analysis showed that SLCs were present and that PDGFRα was mainly expressed in the pig testicular interstitium, indicating that PDGFRα was a marker for SLCs in the neonatal pig. In addition, reverse transcription-PCR results showed that SLC markers were expressed in primary isolated LCs, indicating that they were putative SLCs. The putative SLCs were subsequently cultured with a testicular fluid of piglets (pTF) medium. Clones formed after 7 days and the cells expressed PDGFRα. However, no clones grew in the absence of pTF, but the cells expressed CYP17A1, indicating that pTF could sustain the features of porcine SLCs. To summarize, we isolated porcine SLCs and identified their basic characteristics. Taken together, these results may help lay the foundation for research in the clinical application of porcine SLCs. Shuai Yu, Pengfei Zhang, Wuzi Dong, Wenxian Zeng, and Chuanying Pan Copyright © 2017 Shuai Yu et al. All rights reserved. Advances and New Technologies towards Clinical Application of Oral Stem Cells and Their Secretome Tue, 24 Jan 2017 05:57:57 +0000 Athina Bakopoulou, George T.-J. Huang, Mahmoud Rouabhia, Werner Geurtsen, and Imad About Copyright © 2017 Athina Bakopoulou et al. All rights reserved. Hedgehog Pathway Inhibition Hampers Sphere and Holoclone Formation in Rhabdomyosarcoma Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common type of soft tissue sarcoma in children and can be divided into two main subtypes: embryonal (eRMS) and alveolar (aRMS). Among the cellular heterogeneity of tumors, the existence of a small fraction of cells called cancer stem cells (CSC), thought to be responsible for the onset and propagation of cancer, has been demonstrated in some neoplasia. Although the existence of CSC has been reported for eRMS, their existence in aRMS, the most malignant subtype, has not been demonstrated to date. Given the lack of suitable markers to identify this subpopulation in aRMS, we used cancer stem cell-enriched supracellular structures (spheres and holoclones) to study this subpopulation. This strategy allowed us to demonstrate the capacity of both aRMS and eRMS cells to form these structures and retain self-renewal capacity. Furthermore, cells contained in spheres and holoclones showed significant Hedgehog pathway induction, the inhibition of which (pharmacologic or genetic) impairs the formation of both holoclones and spheres. Our findings point to a crucial role of this pathway in the maintenance of these structures and suggest that Hedgehog pathway targeting in CSC may have great potential in preventing local relapses and metastases. Ana Almazán-Moga, Patricia Zarzosa, Isaac Vidal, Carla Molist, Irina Giralt, Natalia Navarro, Aroa Soriano, Miguel F. Segura, Arantza Alfranca, Javier Garcia-Castro, José Sánchez de Toledo, Josep Roma, and Soledad Gallego Copyright © 2017 Ana Almazán-Moga et al. All rights reserved. Raman Spectroscopic Analyses of Jaw Periosteal Cell Mineralization Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:55:47 +0000 To achieve safer patient treatments, serum-free cell culture conditions have to be established for cell therapies. In previous studies, we demonstrated that serum-free culture favored the proliferation of MSCA-1+ osteoprogenitors derived from the jaw periosteum. In this study, the in vitro formation of bone-specific matrix by MSCA-1+ jaw periosteal cells (JPCs, 3 donors) was assessed and compared under serum-free and serum-containing media conditions using the marker-free Raman spectroscopy. Based on a standard fluorescence assay, JPCs from one patient were not able to mineralize under serum-containing culture conditions, whereas the other cells showed similar mineralization levels under both conditions. Raman spectra from mineralizing MSCA-1+ JPCs revealed higher levels of hydroxyapatite formation and higher mineral to matrix ratios under serum-free culture conditions. Higher carbonate to phosphate ratios and higher crystallinity in JPCs cultured under serum-containing conditions indicated immature bone formation. Due to reduced collagen production under serum-free conditions, we obtained significant differences in collagen maturity and proline to hydroxyproline ratios compared to serum-free conditions. We conclude that Raman spectroscopy is a useful tool for the assessment and noninvasive monitoring of in vitro mineralization of osteoprogenitor cells. Further studies should extend this knowledge and improve JPC mineralization by optimizing culture conditions. Eva Brauchle, Daniel Carvajal Berrio, Melanie Rieger, Katja Schenke-Layland, Siegmar Reinert, and Dorothea Alexander Copyright © 2017 Eva Brauchle et al. All rights reserved. Progenitor Cells for Arterial Repair: Incremental Advancements towards Therapeutic Reality Mon, 23 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Coronary revascularization remains the standard treatment for obstructive coronary artery disease and can be accomplished by either percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Considerable advances have rendered PCI the most common form of revascularization and improved clinical outcomes. However, numerous challenges to modern PCI remain, namely, in-stent restenosis and stent thrombosis, underscoring the importance of understanding the vessel wall response to injury to identify targets for intervention. Among recent promising discoveries, endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have garnered considerable interest given an increasing appreciation of their role in vascular homeostasis and their ability to promote vascular repair after stent placement. Circulating EPC numbers have been inversely correlated with cardiovascular risk, while administration of EPCs in humans has demonstrated improved clinical outcomes. Despite these encouraging results, however, advancing EPCs as a therapeutic modality has been hampered by a fundamental roadblock: what constitutes an EPC? We review current definitions and sources of EPCs as well as the proposed mechanisms of EPC-mediated vascular repair. Additionally, we discuss the current state of EPCs as therapeutic agents, focusing on endogenous augmentation and transplantation. Trevor Simard, Richard G. Jung, Pouya Motazedian, Pietro Di Santo, F. Daniel Ramirez, Juan J. Russo, Alisha Labinaz, Altayyeb Yousef, Brijesh Anantharam, Ali Pourdjabbar, and Benjamin Hibbert Copyright © 2017 Trevor Simard et al. All rights reserved. Effect of BMP-2 Delivery Mode on Osteogenic Differentiation of Stem Cells Thu, 19 Jan 2017 08:43:47 +0000 Differentiation of stem cells is an important strategy for regeneration of defective tissue in stem cell therapy. Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) is a well-known osteogenic differentiation factor that stimulates stem cell signaling pathways by activating transmembrane type I and type II receptors. However, BMPs have a very short half-life and may rapidly lose their bioactivity. Thus, a BMP delivery system is required to take advantage of an osteoinductive effect for osteogenic differentiation. Previously, BMP delivery has been designed and evaluated for osteogenic differentiation, focusing on carriers and sustained release system for delivery of BMPs. The effect of the delivery mode in cell culture plate on osteogenic differentiation potential was not evaluated. Herein, to investigate the effect of delivery mode on osteogenic differentiation of BM-MSCs in this study, we fabricated bottom-up release and top-down release systems for culture plate delivery of BMP-2. And also, we selected Arg-Gly-Asp- (RGD-) conjugated alginate hydrogel for BMP-2 delivery because alginate is able to release BMP-2 in a sustained manner and it is a biocompatible material. After 7 days of culture, the bottom-up release system in culture plate significantly stimulated alkaline phosphate activity of human bone marrow-mesenchymal stem cells. The present study highlights the potential value of the tool in stem cell therapy. Taekhee Jung, John Hwan Lee, Soonjung Park, Yong-Jin Kim, Joseph Seo, Hye-Eun Shim, Ki-Suk Kim, Hyon-Seok Jang, Hyung-Min Chung, Seong-Geun Oh, Sung-Hwan Moon, and Sun-Woong Kang Copyright © 2017 Taekhee Jung et al. All rights reserved. Molecular Mutations and Their Cooccurrences in Cytogenetically Normal Acute Myeloid Leukemia Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) clinically is a disparate disease that requires intensive treatments ranging from chemotherapy alone to allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). Historically, cytogenetic analysis has been a useful prognostic tool to classify patients into favorable, intermediate, and unfavorable prognostic risk groups. However, the intermediate-risk group, consisting predominantly of cytogenetically normal AML (CN-AML), itself exhibits diverse clinical outcomes and requires further characterization to allow for more optimal treatment decision-making. The recent advances in clinical genomics have led to the recategorization of CN-AML into favorable or unfavorable subgroups. The relapsing nature of AML is thought to be due to clonal heterogeneity that includes founder or driver mutations present in the leukemic stem cell population. In this article, we summarize the clinical outcomes of relevant molecular mutations and their cooccurrences in CN-AML, including NPM1, FLT3ITD, DNMT3A, NRAS, TET2, RUNX1, MLLPTD, ASXL1, BCOR, PHF6, CEBPAbiallelic, IDH1, IDH2R140, and IDH2R170, with an emphasis on their relevance to the leukemic stem cell compartment. We have reviewed the available literature and TCGA AML databases (2013) to highlight the potential role of stem cell regulating factor mutations on outcome within newly defined AML molecular subgroups. Mengning Wang, Chuanwei Yang, Le Zhang, and Dale G. Schaar Copyright © 2017 Mengning Wang et al. All rights reserved. Signal Factors Secreted by 2D and Spheroid Mesenchymal Stem Cells and by Cocultures of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Derived Microvesicles and Retinal Photoreceptor Neurons Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000 We aim to identify levels of signal factors secreted by MSCs cultured in 2D monolayers (2D-MSCs), spheroids (spheroids MSCs), and cocultures of microvesicles (MVs) derived from 2D-MSCs or spheroid MSCs and retinal photoreceptor neurons. We seeded 2D-MSCs, spheroid MSCs, and cells derived from spheroids MSCs at equal numbers. MVs isolated from all 3 culture conditions were incubated with 661W cells. Levels of 51 signal factors in conditioned medium from those cultured conditions were quantified with bead-based assay. We found that IL-8, IL-6, and GROα were the top three most abundant signal factors. Moreover, compared to 2D-MSCs, levels of 11 cytokines and IL-2Rα were significantly increased in conditioned medium from spheroid MSCs. Finally, to test if enhanced expression of these factors reflects altered immunomodulating activities, we assessed the effect of 2D-MSC-MVs and 3D-MSC-MVs on CD14+ cell chemoattraction. Compared to 2D-MSC-MVs, 3D-MSC-MVs significantly decreased the chemotactic index of CD14+ cells. Our results suggest that spheroid culture conditions improve the ability of MSCs to selectively secrete signal factors. Moreover, 3D-MSC-MVs also possessed an enhanced capability to promote signal factors secretion compared to 2D-MSC-MVs and may possess enhanced immunomodulating activities and might be a better regenerative therapy for retinal degenerative diseases. Lili Xie, Mao Mao, Liang Zhou, Lusi Zhang, and Bing Jiang Copyright © 2017 Lili Xie et al. All rights reserved. Safety and Effectiveness of Bone Marrow Cell Concentrate in the Treatment of Chronic Critical Limb Ischemia Utilizing a Rapid Point-of-Care System Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:56:05 +0000 Critical limb ischemia (CLI) is the end stage of lower extremity peripheral vascular disease (PVD) in which severe obstruction of blood flow results in ischemic rest pain, ulcers and/or gangrene, and a significant risk of limb loss. This open-label, single-arm feasibility study evaluated the safety and therapeutic effectiveness of autologous bone marrow cell (aBMC) concentrate in revascularization of CLI patients utilizing a rapid point-of-care device. Seventeen (17) no-option CLI patients with ischemic rest pain were enrolled in the study. Single dose of aBMC, prepared utilizing an intraoperative point-of-care device, the Res-Q™ 60 BMC system, was injected intramuscularly into the afflicted limb and patients were followed up at regular intervals for 12 months. A statistically significant improvement in Ankle Brachial Index (ABI), Transcutaneous Oxygen Pressure (TcPO2), mean rest pain and intermittent claudication pain scores, wound/ ulcer healing, and 6-minute walking distance was observed following aBMC treatment. Major amputation-free survival (mAFS) rate and amputation-free rates (AFR) at 12 months were 70.6% and 82.3%, respectively. In conclusion, aBMC injections were well tolerated with improved tissue perfusion, confirming the safety, feasibility, and preliminary effectiveness of aBMC treatment in CLI patients. Venkatesh Ponemone, Saniya Gupta, Dalip Sethi, Manish Suthar, Monika Sharma, Richard J. Powell, Kenneth Lee Harris, Nungshi Jungla, Priyadarshini Arambam, Upendra Kaul, Ashok Seth, and Suhail Bukhari Copyright © 2017 Venkatesh Ponemone et al. All rights reserved.