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Current Stem Cell Reports

Elizabeth T Ables, Daniela Drummond-Barbosa
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Stem cells respond to local paracrine signals; more recently, however, systemic hormones have also emerged as key regulators of stem cells. This review explores the role of steroid hormones in stem cells, using the Drosophila germline stem cell as a centerpiece for discussion. RECENT FINDINGS: Stem cells sense and respond directly and indirectly to steroid hormones, which regulate diverse sets of target genes via interactions with nuclear hormone receptors...
March 2017: Current Stem Cell Reports
Veronica Pini, Jennifer E Morgan, Francesco Muntoni, Helen C O'Neill
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Muscular dystrophies are a group of severe degenerative disorders characterized by muscle fiber degeneration and death. Therapies designed to restore muscle homeostasis and to replace dying fibers are being experimented, but none of those in clinical trials are suitable to permanently address individual gene mutation. The purpose of this review is to discuss genome editing tools such as CRISPR/Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated), which enable direct sequence alteration and could potentially be adopted to correct the genetic defect leading to muscle impairment...
2017: Current Stem Cell Reports
Juliette M K M Delhove, Waseem Qasim
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Alternative approaches to conventional drug-based cancer treatments have seen T cell therapies deployed more widely over the last decade. This is largely due to their ability to target and kill specific cell types based on receptor recognition. Introduction of recombinant T cell receptors (TCRs) using viral vectors and HLA-independent T cell therapies using chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) are discussed. This article reviews the tools used for genome editing, with particular emphasis on the applications of site-specific DNA nuclease mediated editing for T cell therapies...
2017: Current Stem Cell Reports
Patrick Ovando-Roche, Anastasios Georgiadis, Alexander J Smith, Rachael A Pearson, Robin R Ali
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: A major cause of visual disorders is dysfunction and/or loss of the light-sensitive cells of the retina, the photoreceptors. To develop better treatments for patients, we need to understand how inherited retinal disease mutations result in the dysfunction of photoreceptors. New advances in the field of stem cell and gene editing research offer novel ways to model retinal dystrophies in vitro and present opportunities to translate basic biological insights into therapies...
2017: Current Stem Cell Reports
Alvaro Mata, Helena S Azevedo, Lorenzo Botto, Nuria Gavara, Lei Su
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: In this review, we provide a general overview of recent bioengineering breakthroughs and enabling tools that are transforming the field of regenerative medicine (RM). We focus on five key areas that are evolving and increasingly interacting including mechanobiology, biomaterials and scaffolds, intracellular delivery strategies, imaging techniques, and computational and mathematical modeling. RECENT FINDINGS: Mechanobiology plays an increasingly important role in tissue regeneration and design of therapies...
2017: Current Stem Cell Reports
Doris A Taylor, Rohan B Parikh, Luiz C Sampaio
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: In this review, we focus on the multiple advancements in the field of cardiovascular regenerative medicine and the state-of-the art of building a heart. An organ is comprised of cells, but cells alone do not comprise an organ. We summarize the components needed, the hurdles, and likely translational steps defining the opportunities for discovery. RECENT FINDINGS: The therapies being developed in regenerative medicine aim not only to repair, but also to regenerate or replace ailing tissues and organs...
2017: Current Stem Cell Reports
Shugo Tohyama, Sho Tanosaki, Shota Someya, Jun Fujita, Keiichi Fukuda
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) have the capacity to differentiate into various types of cells, and are promising cell sources for regenerative therapy and drug screening. However, to realize the clinical application of PSCs, a large number of highly qualified target cells must be stably prepared with low cost. To achieve this, great improvements in the reprogramming, differentiation, and elimination of residual PSCs will be necessary. In this review, we summarize the updated knowledge about metabolism in PSCs and its application...
2017: Current Stem Cell Reports
Ashwini Hinge, Marie-Dominique Filippi
The hematopoietic system is highly dynamic and must constantly produce new blood cells every day. Mature blood cells all derive from a pool of rare long-lived hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) that are mostly quiescent but occasionally divide and self-renew in order to maintain the stem cell pool and continuous replenishment of mature blood cells throughout life. A tight control of HSC self-renewal, commitment to differentiation and maintenance of quiescence states is necessary for lifelong blood supply. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is a critical regulator hematopoietic cell functions...
December 2016: Current Stem Cell Reports
Dheeraj Bhavanasi, Peter S Klein
Wnt signaling plays important roles in stem cell self-renewal and differentiation in adults as well as in embryonic development. Mutations that activate canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling also initiate and maintain several cancer states, including colorectal cancer and leukemia, and hence Wnt inhibitors are currently being explored as therapeutic options. In this review, we summarize previous studies and update recent findings on canonical Wnt signaling and its components, as well as their roles in somatic stem cell homeostasis and maintenance of cancer initiating cells...
December 2016: 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
Alex Sargent, Robert H Miller
The utilization of mesenchymal stem cells (also known as mesenchymal stromal cells, or MSCs) as a cell-based therapy for diseases that have ongoing inflammatory damage has become increasingly available. Our understanding of the cell biology of MSCs is still incomplete. However, as a result of increasing numbers of pre-clinical and clinical studies, general themes are emerging. The capacity of MSCs to reduce disease burden is largely associated with their ability to modulate the activity of the host immune responses rather than to contribute directly to tissue regeneration...
June 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
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