Application Status and Development Prospects of Stem Cells

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020) | Viewed by 25839

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Head of Translational Research with iPS Cells Group, Research Institute Hospital 12 de Octubre, i+12, Madrid, Spain
Interests: induced pluripotent stem cells; McArdle disease; mitochondrial disorders; modeling disorders; CRISPR/Cas9; drug repurposing studies; tissue engineering
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Stem cells pave the way for the formation of all tissues and organs of the body and can play different roles in development, disease progression, and tissue repair processes. They are unspecialized cells and based on their differentiation potential, can be classified in several types. Totipotent stem cells have the highest differentiation potential, being able to form both embryo and extraembryonic structures; pluripotent stem cells, which can form cells of the three germ layers but not extraembryonic structures; multipotent stem cells, which can specialize in discrete cells of specific cell lineages; oligopotent stem cells, which can only differentiate into closely related cell types and unipotent stem cells, which are characterized by the narrowest differentiation capabilities, being able to form only one cell type. This classification was altered in 2006 by the inclusion of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which were discovered by the Nobel Prize laureate Shinya Yamanaka. iPSCs are derived from somatic cells that have been reprogrammed back into an embryonic-like pluripotent state that potentially enables the development of an unlimited source of any cell type. Up to now, stem cells represent a great promise in different application fields, which include cell therapies, disease modeling, and drug development, among others.

This Special Issue in Genes on the “Application Status and Development Prospects of Stem Cells” will address the main applications of stem cells in clinics and other relevant advances related to this novel and promising research topic. Therefore, contributions by experts in the field, in the form of original research papers, mini-reviews, and reviews are most welcome.

Dr. Maria Esther Gallardo
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Stem cells
  • Induced pluripotent stem cells
  • Stem cell therapy
  • Drug discovery
  • Cell modeling
  • Personalized medicine
  • Tissue engineering

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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20 pages, 4354 KiB  
Article
Phenotypical Characterization and Neurogenic Differentiation of Rabbit Adipose Tissue-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells
by Mária Tirpáková, Jaromír Vašíček, Andrea Svoradová, Andrej Baláži, Marián Tomka, Miroslav Bauer, Alexander Makarevich and Peter Chrenek
Genes 2021, 12(3), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12030431 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3368
Abstract
Although the rabbit is a frequently used biological model, the phenotype of rabbit adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (rAT-MSCs) is not well characterized. One of the reasons is the absence of specific anti-rabbit antibodies. The study aimed to characterize rAT-MSCs using flow cytometry and [...] Read more.
Although the rabbit is a frequently used biological model, the phenotype of rabbit adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (rAT-MSCs) is not well characterized. One of the reasons is the absence of specific anti-rabbit antibodies. The study aimed to characterize rAT-MSCs using flow cytometry and PCR methods, especially digital droplet PCR, which confirmed the expression of selected markers at the mRNA level. A combination of these methods validated the expression of MSCs markers (CD29, CD44, CD73, CD90 and CD105). In addition, cells were also positive for CD49f, vimentin, desmin, α-SMA, ALDH and also for the pluripotent markers: NANOG, OCT4 and SOX2. Moreover, the present study proved the ability of rAT-MSCs to differentiate into a neurogenic lineage based on the confirmed expression of neuronal markers ENO2 and MAP2. Obtained results suggest that rAT-MSCs have, despite the slight differences in marker expression, the similar phenotype as human AT-MSCs and possess the neurodifferentiation ability. Accordingly, rAT-MSCs should be subjected to further studies with potential application in veterinary medicine but also, in case of their cryopreservation, as a source of genetic information of endangered species stored in the gene bank. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application Status and Development Prospects of Stem Cells)
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27 pages, 5429 KiB  
Article
Molecular Profiling and Gene Banking of Rabbit EPCs Derived from Two Biological Sources
by Jaromír Vašíček, Andrej Baláži, Miroslav Bauer, Andrea Svoradová, Mária Tirpáková, Marián Tomka and Peter Chrenek
Genes 2021, 12(3), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12030366 - 4 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2301
Abstract
Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have been broadly studied for several years due to their outstanding regenerative potential. Moreover, these cells might be a valuable source of genetic information for the preservation of endangered animal species. However, a controversy regarding their characterization still exists. [...] Read more.
Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have been broadly studied for several years due to their outstanding regenerative potential. Moreover, these cells might be a valuable source of genetic information for the preservation of endangered animal species. However, a controversy regarding their characterization still exists. The aim of this study was to isolate and compare the rabbit peripheral blood- and bone marrow-derived EPCs with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in terms of their phenotype and morphology that could be affected by the passage number or cryopreservation as well as to assess their possible neuro-differentiation potential. Briefly, cells were isolated and cultured under standard endothelial conditions until passage 3. The morphological changes during the culture were monitored and each passage was analyzed for the typical phenotype using flow cytometry, quantitative real–time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and novel digital droplet PCR (ddPCR), and compared to HUVECs. The neurogenic differentiation was induced using a commercial kit. Rabbit cells were also cryopreserved for at least 3 months and then analyzed after thawing. According to the obtained results, both rabbit EPCs exhibit a spindle-shaped morphology and high proliferation rate. The both cell lines possess same stable phenotype: CD14CD29+CD31CD34CD44+CD45CD49f+CD73+CD90+CD105+CD133CD146CD166+VE-cadherin+VEGFR-2+SSEA-4+MSCA-1vWF+eNOS+AcLDL+ALDH+vimentin+desmin+α-SMA+, slightly different from HUVECs. Moreover, both induced rabbit EPCs exhibit neuron-like morphological changes and expression of neuronal markers ENO2 and MAP2. In addition, cryopreserved rabbit cells maintained high viability (>85%) and endothelial phenotype after thawing. In conclusion, our findings suggest that cells expanded from the rabbit peripheral blood and bone marrow are of the endothelial origin with a stable marker expression and interesting proliferation and differentiation capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application Status and Development Prospects of Stem Cells)
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Review

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21 pages, 1078 KiB  
Review
Hereditary Optic Neuropathies: Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Based 2D/3D Approaches
by Marta García-López, Joaquín Arenas and M. Esther Gallardo
Genes 2021, 12(1), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12010112 - 18 Jan 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3579
Abstract
Inherited optic neuropathies share visual impairment due to the degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) as the hallmark of the disease. This group of genetic disorders are caused by mutations in nuclear genes or in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). An impaired mitochondrial function [...] Read more.
Inherited optic neuropathies share visual impairment due to the degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) as the hallmark of the disease. This group of genetic disorders are caused by mutations in nuclear genes or in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). An impaired mitochondrial function is the underlying mechanism of these diseases. Currently, optic neuropathies lack an effective treatment, and the implementation of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology would entail a huge step forward. The generation of iPSC-derived RGCs would allow faithfully modeling these disorders, and these RGCs would represent an appealing platform for drug screening as well, paving the way for a proper therapy. Here, we review the ongoing two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) approaches based on iPSCs and their applications, taking into account the more innovative technologies, which include tissue engineering or microfluidics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application Status and Development Prospects of Stem Cells)
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24 pages, 809 KiB  
Review
Current Status and Future Prospects of Perinatal Stem Cells
by Paz de la Torre and Ana I. Flores
Genes 2021, 12(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12010006 - 23 Dec 2020
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 10227
Abstract
The placenta is a temporary organ that is discarded after birth and is one of the most promising sources of various cells and tissues for use in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, both in experimental and clinical settings. The placenta has unique, intrinsic [...] Read more.
The placenta is a temporary organ that is discarded after birth and is one of the most promising sources of various cells and tissues for use in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, both in experimental and clinical settings. The placenta has unique, intrinsic features because it plays many roles during gestation: it is formed by cells from two individuals (mother and fetus), contributes to the development and growth of an allogeneic fetus, and has two independent and interacting circulatory systems. Different stem and progenitor cell types can be isolated from the different perinatal tissues making them particularly interesting candidates for use in cell therapy and regenerative medicine. The primary source of perinatal stem cells is cord blood. Cord blood has been a well-known source of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells since 1974. Biobanked cord blood has been used to treat different hematological and immunological disorders for over 30 years. Other perinatal tissues that are routinely discarded as medical waste contain non-hematopoietic cells with potential therapeutic value. Indeed, in advanced perinatal cell therapy trials, mesenchymal stromal cells are the most commonly used. Here, we review one by one the different perinatal tissues and the different perinatal stem cells isolated with their phenotypical characteristics and the preclinical uses of these cells in numerous pathologies. An overview of clinical applications of perinatal derived cells is also described with special emphasis on the clinical trials being carried out to treat COVID19 pneumonia. Furthermore, we describe the use of new technologies in the field of perinatal stem cells and the future directions and challenges of this fascinating and rapidly progressing field of perinatal cells and regenerative medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application Status and Development Prospects of Stem Cells)
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20 pages, 480 KiB  
Review
Ultrasound Therapy: Experiences and Perspectives for Regenerative Medicine
by Beatriz de Lucas, Laura M. Pérez, Aurora Bernal and Beatriz G. Gálvez
Genes 2020, 11(9), 1086; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11091086 - 17 Sep 2020
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 5716
Abstract
Ultrasound has emerged as a novel tool for clinical applications, particularly in the context of regenerative medicine. Due to its unique physico-mechanical properties, low-intensity ultrasound (LIUS) has been approved for accelerated fracture healing and for the treatment of established non-union, but its utility [...] Read more.
Ultrasound has emerged as a novel tool for clinical applications, particularly in the context of regenerative medicine. Due to its unique physico-mechanical properties, low-intensity ultrasound (LIUS) has been approved for accelerated fracture healing and for the treatment of established non-union, but its utility has extended beyond tissue engineering to other fields, including cell regeneration. Cells and tissues respond to acoustic ultrasound by switching on genetic repair circuits, triggering a cascade of molecular signals that promote cell proliferation, adhesion, migration, differentiation, and extracellular matrix production. LIUS also induces angiogenesis and tissue regeneration and has anti-inflammatory and anti-degenerative effects. Accordingly, the potential application of ultrasound for tissue repair/regeneration has been tested in several studies as a stand-alone treatment and, more recently, as an adjunct to cell-based therapies. For example, ultrasound has been proposed to improve stem cell homing to target tissues due to its ability to create a transitional and local gradient of cytokines and chemokines. In this review, we provide an overview of the many applications of ultrasound in clinical medicine, with a focus on its value as an adjunct to cell-based interventions. Finally, we discuss the various preclinical and clinical studies that have investigated the potential of ultrasound for regenerative medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application Status and Development Prospects of Stem Cells)
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