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Current Stem Cell Reports

Christine Roden, Jun Lu
Studies on hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and leukemia stem cells (LSCs) have helped to establish the paradigms of normal and cancer stem cell concepts. For both HSCs and LSCs, specific gene expression programs endowed by their epigenome functionally distinguish them from their differentiated progenies. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), as a class of small non-coding RNAs, act to control post-transcriptional gene expression. Research in the past decade has yielded exciting findings elucidating the roles of miRNAs in control of multiple facets of HSC and LSC biology...
September 2016: Current Stem Cell Reports
Megan P O'Brien, Meagan E Carnes, Raymond L Page, Glenn R Gaudette, George D Pins
Native tissue structures possess elaborate extracellular matrix (ECM) architectures that inspire the design of fibrous structures in the field of regenerative medicine. We review the literature with respect to the successes and failures, as well as the future promise of biopolymer microthreads as scaffolds to promote endogenous and exogenous tissue regeneration. Biomimetic microthread tissue constructs have been proposed for the functional regeneration of tendon, ligament, skeletal muscle, and ventricular myocardial tissues...
June 2016: Current Stem Cell Reports
Asako Tajima, Isha Pradhan, Massimo Trucco, Yong Fan
The thymus is the primary site for the generation of a diverse repertoire of T-cells that are essential to the efficient function of adaptive immunity. Numerous factors varying from aging, chemotherapy, radiation exposure, virus infection and inflammation contribute to thymus involution, a phenomenon manifested as loss of thymus cellularity, increased stromal fibrosis and diminished naïve T-cell output. Rejuvenating thymus function is a challenging task since it has limited regenerative capability and we still do not know how to successfully propagate thymic epithelial cells (TECs), the predominant population of the thymic stromal cells making up the thymic microenvironment...
June 2016: Current Stem Cell Reports
Oriane B Matthys, Tracy A Hookway, Todd C McDevitt
Recent advances in human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) technologies have enabled the engineering of human tissue constructs for developmental studies, disease modeling, and drug screening platforms. In vitro tissue formation can be generally described at three levels of cellular organization. Multicellular hPSC constructs are initially formed either with polymeric scaffold materials or simply via self-assembly, adhesive mechanisms. Heterotypic interactions within hPSC tissue constructs can be achieved by physically mixing independently differentiated cell populations or coaxed to simultaneously co-emerge from a common population of undifferentiated cells...
March 2016: Current Stem Cell Reports
Efraín A Cermeño, Andrés J García
The discovery and subsequent isolation of tumor-initiating cells (TICs), a small population of highly tumorigenic and drug-resistant cancer cells also called cancer stem cells (CSCs), have revolutionized our understanding of cancer. TICs are isolated using various methodologies, including selection of surface marker expression, ALDH activity, suspension culture, and chemotherapy/drug resistance. These methods have several drawbacks, including their variability, lack of robustness and scalability, and low specificity...
March 1, 2016: Current Stem Cell Reports
Ji Sun Choi, Brendan A C Harley
In our body, stem cells reside in a microenvironment termed the niche. While the exact composition and therefore the level of complexity of a stem cell niche can vary significantly tissue-to-tissue, the stem cell niche microenvironment is dynamic, typically containing spatial and temporal variations in both cellular, extracellular matrix, and biomolecular components. This complex flow of secreted or bound biomolecules, cytokines, extracellular matrix components, and cellular constituents all contribute to the regulation of stem cell fate specification events, making engineering approaches at the nano- and micro-scale of particular interest for creating an artificial niche environment in vitro...
March 2016: Current Stem Cell Reports
Elham Masoudi, João Ribas, Gaurav Kaushik, Jeroen Leijten, Ali Khademhosseini
Platelet rich blood derivatives have been widely used in different fields of medicine and stem cell based tissue engineering. They represent natural cocktails of autologous growth factor, which could provide an alternative for recombinant protein based approaches. Platelet rich blood derivatives, such as platelet rich plasma, have consistently shown to potentiate stem cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation. Here, we review the spectrum of platelet rich blood derivatives, discuss their current applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, reflect on their effect on stem cells, and highlight current translational challenges...
March 2016: Current Stem Cell Reports
Carlo Tremolada, Valeria Colombo, Carlo Ventura
In the past few years, interest in adipose tissue as an ideal source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has increased. These cells are multipotent and may differentiate in vitro into several cellular lineages, such as adipocytes, chondrocytes, osteoblasts, and myoblasts. In addition, they secrete many bioactive molecules and thus are considered "mini-drugstores." MSCs are being used increasingly for many clinical applications, such as orthopedic, plastic, and reconstructive surgery. Adipose-derived MSCs are routinely obtained enzymatically from fat lipoaspirate as SVF and/or may undergo prolonged ex vivo expansion, with significant senescence and a decrease in multipotency, leading to unsatisfactory clinical results...
2016: Current Stem Cell Reports
Michael D West, Igor Nasonkin, David Larocca, Karen B Chapman, Francois Binette, Hal Sternberg
The complexity of human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) fate represents both opportunity and challenge. In theory, all somatic cell types can be differentiated from hPSCs, opening the door to many opportunities in transplant medicine. However, such clinical applications require high standards of purity and identity, that challenge many existing protocols. This underscores the need for increasing precision in the description of cell identity during hPSC differentiation. We highlight one salient example, namely, the numerous published reports of hPSC-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)...
2016: Current Stem Cell Reports
Dafne Campigli Di Giammartino, Effie Apostolou
The revolutionary discovery that somatic cells can be reprogrammed by a defined set transcription factors to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) changed dramatically the way we perceive cell fate determination. Importantly, iPSCs, similar to embryo-derived stem cells (ESCs), are characterized by a remarkable developmental plasticity and the capacity to self-renew "indefinitely" under appropriate culture conditions, opening new avenues for personalized therapy and disease modeling. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms that maintain, induce, or alter stem cell identity is crucial for a deeper understanding of cell fate determination and potential translational applications...
2016: Current Stem Cell Reports
Giulia Tyzack, Andras Lakatos, Rickie Patani
Astrocytes abound in the human central nervous system (CNS) and play a multitude of indispensable roles in neuronal homeostasis and regulation of synaptic plasticity. While traditionally considered to be merely ancillary supportive cells, their complex yet fundamental relevance to brain physiology and pathology have only become apparent in recent times. Beyond their myriad canonical functions, previously unrecognised region-specific functional heterogeneity of astrocytes is emerging as an important attribute and challenges the traditional perspective of CNS-wide astrocyte homogeneity...
2016: Current Stem Cell Reports
Maqsood Ahmed, Charles Ffrench-Constant
Stem cells hold great promise in treating many diseases either through promoting endogenous cell repair or through direct cell transplants. In order to maximize their potential, understanding the fundamental signals and mechanisms that regulate their behavior is essential. The extracellular matrix (ECM) is one such component involved in mediating stem cell fate. Recent studies have made significant progress in understanding stem cell-ECM interactions. Technological developments have provided greater clarity in how cells may sense and respond to the ECM, in particular the physical properties of the matrix...
2016: Current Stem Cell Reports
Simon N Waddington, Riccardo Privolizzi, Rajvinder Karda, Helen C O'Neill
The pinnacle of four decades of research, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and genome editing with the advent of clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) now promise to take drug development and regenerative medicine to new levels and to enable the interrogation of disease mechanisms with a hitherto unimaginable level of model fidelity. Autumn 2014 witnessed the first patient receiving iPSCs differentiated into retinal pigmented epithelium to treat macular degeneration. Technologies such as 3D bioprinting may now exploit these advances to manufacture organs in a dish...
2016: Current Stem Cell Reports
Antonio Pierini, Dominik Schneidawind, Hidekazu Nishikii, Robert S Negrin
Broad clinical interest rapidly followed the recent discovery of different subpopulations of T cells that have immune regulatory properties and a number of studies have been conducted aiming to dissect the translational potential of these promising cells. In this review we will focus on forkhead box P3 (FoxP3) positive regulatory T cells, T regulatory type 1 cells and invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT). We will analyze their ability to correct immune dysregulation in animal models of immune mediated diseases and we will examine the first clinical approaches where these cells have been directly or indirectly employed...
December 1, 2015: Current Stem Cell Reports
David E Muench, H Leighton Grimes
Hematopoiesis is characterized by a lifelong balance between hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) self-renewal and differentiation into mature blood populations. Proper instruction of cell fate decisions requires tight homeostatic regulation of transcriptional programs through a combination of epigenetic modifications, management of cis-regulatory elements, and transcription factor activity. Recent work has focused on integrating biochemical, genetic, and evolutionary data sets to gain further insight into these regulatory components...
September 2015: Current Stem Cell Reports
Balendu Shekhar Jha, Kapil Bharti
Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a polarized monolayer tissue that functions to support the health and integrity of retinal photoreceptors (PRs). RPE atrophy has been linked to pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in elderly in the USA. RPE atrophy in AMD leads to the PR cell death and vision loss. It is thought that replacing diseased RPE with healthy RPE tissue can prevent PR cell death. Retinal surgical innovations have provided proof-of-principle data that autologous RPE tissue can replace diseased macular RPE and provide visual rescue in AMD patients...
June 2015: Current Stem Cell Reports
Matthew H Porteus
The ability to remove blood cells, including hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), from a person and then re-transplant them (hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a well-established treatment paradigm that can be used in both the autologous setting or in the allogeneic setting. Using allogeneic HSCT can cure different genetic diseases of the blood but has significant limitations. An alternative to allogeneic HSCT is to transplant genetically modified HSCs instead. A powerful approach to the precision modification of HSCs is to use genome editing whereby the genome is modified with spatial precision (at an exact location) in the genome and sometimes with nucleotide precision (the exact nucleotide changes are introduced)...
March 1, 2015: Current Stem Cell Reports
Jacqueline Barry, Johan Hyllner, Glyn Stacey, Craig J Taylor, Marc Turner
The development of induced pluripotent stem cells offers the possibility of the scalable manufacture of cellular therapies for regenerative medicine. Moreover, donors can be selected on the basis of major transplant antigen systems to match the widest possible number of recipients worldwide, reducing the likely risk of immunological rejection and the degree of immune suppression or tolerance required. If such cell lines are to be broadly available, there will need to be mutual recognition of common standards across different jurisdictions...
2015: Current Stem Cell Reports
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