ijms-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Stem Cell Research"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2017).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Maurizio Muraca Website E-Mail
Department of Women's and Children's Health, University of Padova, Via Giustiniani, 3, 35128 Padova, Italy
Interests: cell transplantation; cell therapy; paracrine signaling; extracellular vesicles; mesenchymal stem cell immune modulation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is divided into two parts. One part will cover a selection of recent research topics and current review articles in the field of stem cell research.
The other part will present selected contributions from the 3rd International Congress on Responsible Stem Cell Research (http://www.stemcellspadua.org/) that is chaired by Professor Katarina Le Blanc at Congress Center Papa Luciani, via Forcellini 170/a, 35128 Padua, Italy, from 16 to 18 November, 2016. All speakers presenting a paper at this conference can submit a manuscript for publication. For further information contact the editorial office ().

Dr. Maurizio Muraca
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (20 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle
Neuroprotective, Neurogenic, and Amyloid Beta Reducing Effect of a Novel Alpha 2-Adrenoblocker, Mesedin, on Astroglia and Neuronal Progenitors upon Hypoxia and Glutamate Exposure
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010009 - 21 Dec 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
Locus coeruleus-noradrenergic system dysfunction is known to contribute to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Besides a variety of reports showing the involvement of norepinephrine and its receptor systems in cognition, amyloid β (Aβ) metabolism, neuroinflammation, and neurogenesis, little is known about the [...] Read more.
Locus coeruleus-noradrenergic system dysfunction is known to contribute to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Besides a variety of reports showing the involvement of norepinephrine and its receptor systems in cognition, amyloid β (Aβ) metabolism, neuroinflammation, and neurogenesis, little is known about the contribution of the specific receptors to these actions. Here, we investigated the neurogenic and neuroprotective properties of a new α2 adrenoblocker, mesedin, in astroglial primary cultures (APC) from C57BL/6 and 3×Tg-AD mice. Our results demonstrate that mesedin rescues neuronal precursors and young neurons, and reduces the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release from astroglia under hypoxic and normoxic conditions. Mesedin also increased choline acetyltransferase, postsynaptic density marker 95 (PSD95), and Aβ-degrading enzyme neprilysin in the wild type APC, while in the 3×Tg-AD APC exposed to glutamate, it decreased the intracellular content of Aβ and enhanced the survival of synaptophysin-positive astroglia and neurons. These effects in APC can at least partially be attributed to the mesedin’s ability of increasing the expression of Interleukine(IL)-10, which is a potent anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective neurogenic, and Aβ metabolism enhancing factor. In summary, our data identify the neurogenic, neuroprotective, and anti-amyloidogenic action of mesedin in APC. Further in vivo studies are needed to estimate the therapeutic value of mesedin for AD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Intermittent Administration of Parathyroid Hormone 1–34 Enhances Osteogenesis of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells by Regulating Protein Kinase Cδ
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2221; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102221 - 24 Oct 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) can differentiate into osteoblasts and are regulated by chemical cues. The recombinant N-terminal (1–34 amino acids) fragment of the parathyroid hormone (PTH (1–34)) is identified to promote osteogenesis. The osteoanabolic effects of intermittent PTH (1–34) treatment are linked [...] Read more.
Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) can differentiate into osteoblasts and are regulated by chemical cues. The recombinant N-terminal (1–34 amino acids) fragment of the parathyroid hormone (PTH (1–34)) is identified to promote osteogenesis. The osteoanabolic effects of intermittent PTH (1–34) treatment are linked to a complex consisting of signaling pathways; additionally, protein kinase C (PKC) act as mediators of multifunctional signaling transduction pathways, but the role of PKC δ (PKCδ), a downstream target in regulating osteoblast differentiation during intermittent administration of PTH (1–34) is less studied and still remains elusive. The purpose of this study is to examine the role of PKCδ during intermittent and continuous PTH (1–34) administration using osteoblast-lineage-committed hMSCs. Relative gene expression of osteoblast-specific genes demonstrated significant upregulation of RUNX2, type I Collagen, ALP, and Osterix and increased alkaline phosphatase activity in the presence of PTH (1–34). Intermittent PTH (1–34) administration increased PKC activity at day 7 of osteogenic differentiation, whereas inhibition of PKC activity attenuated these effects. In addition, the specific isoform PKCδ was activated upon treatment. These findings demonstrate that intermittent PTH (1–34) treatment enhances the osteogenesis of hMSCs by upregulating osteoblast-specific genes via PKCδ activation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Bone Marrow-Derived Stem Cell Populations Are Differentially Regulated by Thyroid or/and Ovarian Hormone Loss
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2139; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102139 - 19 Oct 2017
Abstract
Bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMDSCs) play an essential role in organ repair and regeneration. The molecular mechanisms by which hormones control BMDSCs proliferation and differentiation are unclear. Our aim in this study was to investigate how a lack of ovarian or/and thyroid hormones [...] Read more.
Bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMDSCs) play an essential role in organ repair and regeneration. The molecular mechanisms by which hormones control BMDSCs proliferation and differentiation are unclear. Our aim in this study was to investigate how a lack of ovarian or/and thyroid hormones affects stem cell number in bone marrow lineage. To examine the effect of thyroid or/and ovarian hormones on the proliferative activity of BMDSCs, we removed the thyroid or/and the ovaries of adult female rats. An absence of ovarian and thyroid hormones was confirmed by Pap staining and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) measurement, respectively. To obtain the stem cells from the bone marrow, we punctured the iliac crest, and aspirated and isolated cells by using a density gradient. Specific markers were used by cytometry to identify the different BMDSCs types: endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), precursor B cells/pro-B cells, and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Interestingly, our results showed that hypothyroidism caused a significant increase in the percentage of EPCs, whereas a lack of ovarian hormones significantly increased the precursor B cells/pro-B cells. Moreover, the removal of both glands led to increased MSCs. In conclusion, both ovarian and thyroid hormones appear to have key and diverse roles in regulating the proliferation of cells populations of the bone marrow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Patch-Clamp Recording from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes: Improving Action Potential Characteristics through Dynamic Clamp
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1873; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18091873 - 30 Aug 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) hold great promise for studying inherited cardiac arrhythmias and developing drug therapies to treat such arrhythmias. Unfortunately, until now, action potential (AP) measurements in hiPSC-CMs have been hampered by the virtual absence of the inward rectifier [...] Read more.
Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) hold great promise for studying inherited cardiac arrhythmias and developing drug therapies to treat such arrhythmias. Unfortunately, until now, action potential (AP) measurements in hiPSC-CMs have been hampered by the virtual absence of the inward rectifier potassium current (IK1) in hiPSC-CMs, resulting in spontaneous activity and altered function of various depolarising and repolarising membrane currents. We assessed whether AP measurements in “ventricular-like” and “atrial-like” hiPSC-CMs could be improved through a simple, highly reproducible dynamic clamp approach to provide these cells with a substantial IK1 (computed in real time according to the actual membrane potential and injected through the patch-clamp pipette). APs were measured at 1 Hz using perforated patch-clamp methodology, both in control cells and in cells treated with all-trans retinoic acid (RA) during the differentiation process to increase the number of cells with atrial-like APs. RA-treated hiPSC-CMs displayed shorter APs than control hiPSC-CMs and this phenotype became more prominent upon addition of synthetic IK1 through dynamic clamp. Furthermore, the variability of several AP parameters decreased upon IK1 injection. Computer simulations with models of ventricular-like and atrial-like hiPSC-CMs demonstrated the importance of selecting an appropriate synthetic IK1. In conclusion, the dynamic clamp-based approach of IK1 injection has broad applicability for detailed AP measurements in hiPSC-CMs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Single-Construct Polycistronic Doxycycline-Inducible Vectors Improve Direct Cardiac Reprogramming and Can Be Used to Identify the Critical Timing of Transgene Expression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(8), 1805; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18081805 - 19 Aug 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Direct reprogramming is a promising approach in regenerative medicine. Overexpression of the cardiac transcription factors Gata4, Mef2c, and Tbx5 (GMT) or GMT plus Hand2 (GHMT) directly reprogram fibroblasts into cardiomyocyte-like cells (iCMs). However, the critical timing of transgene expression and the molecular mechanisms [...] Read more.
Direct reprogramming is a promising approach in regenerative medicine. Overexpression of the cardiac transcription factors Gata4, Mef2c, and Tbx5 (GMT) or GMT plus Hand2 (GHMT) directly reprogram fibroblasts into cardiomyocyte-like cells (iCMs). However, the critical timing of transgene expression and the molecular mechanisms for cardiac reprogramming remain unclear. The conventional doxycycline (Dox)-inducible temporal transgene expression systems require simultaneous transduction of two vectors (pLVX-rtTA/pLVX-cDNA) harboring the reverse tetracycline transactivator (rtTA) and the tetracycline response element (TRE)-controlled transgene, respectively, leading to inefficient cardiac reprogramming. Herein, we developed a single-construct-based polycistronic Dox-inducible vector (pDox-cDNA) expressing both the rtTA and TRE-controlled transgenes. Fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) analyses, quantitative RT-PCR, and immunostaining revealed that pDox-GMT increased cardiac reprogramming three-fold compared to the conventional pLVX-rtTA/pLVX-GMT. After four weeks, pDox-GMT-induced iCMs expressed multiple cardiac genes, produced sarcomeric structures, and beat spontaneously. Co-transduction of pDox-Hand2 with retroviral pMX-GMT increased cardiac reprogramming three-fold compared to pMX-GMT alone. Temporal Dox administration revealed that Hand2 transgene expression is critical during the first two weeks of cardiac reprogramming. Microarray analyses demonstrated that Hand2 represses cell cycle-promoting genes and enhances cardiac reprogramming. Thus, we have developed an efficient temporal transgene expression system, which could be invaluable in the study of cardiac reprogramming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Cell Growth of Adipocyte-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Using Chemically-Defined Serum-Free Media
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(8), 1779; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18081779 - 16 Aug 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
The multipotency and anti-inflammatory effects of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) make them attractive for cell therapy in regenerative medicine. A large number of MSCs is required for efficient therapy owing to the low homing efficiency of MSCs to target sites. Furthermore, owing to [...] Read more.
The multipotency and anti-inflammatory effects of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) make them attractive for cell therapy in regenerative medicine. A large number of MSCs is required for efficient therapy owing to the low homing efficiency of MSCs to target sites. Furthermore, owing to limitations in obtaining sufficient amounts of MSCs, in vitro expansion of MSCs that preserves their differentiation and proliferative potential is essential. The animal factor included in culture media also limits clinical application. In this study, adipose-derived MSCs showed a significantly higher proliferation rate in STK2, a chemically-defined medium, than in DMEM/FBS. The expression of MSC surface markers was increased in the culture using STK2 compared to that using DMEM/FBS. Tri-lineage differentiation analyses showed that MSCs cultured in STK2 were superior to those cultured in DMEM/FBS. In addition, MSCs cultured in STK2 showed a reduced senescence rate, small and homogenous cell size, and were more genetically stable compared to those cultured in DMEM/FBS. Furthermore, secretome analysis showed that the expression of factors related to proliferation/migration, anti-inflammation, and differentiation were increased in STK2 culture medium compared to DMEM/FBS. Taken together, these results suggest that culture using STK2 medium offers many advantages through which it is possible to obtain safer, superior, and larger numbers of MSCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Progenitor Cells from Cartilage: Grade Specific Differences in Stem Cell Marker Expression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(8), 1759; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18081759 - 12 Aug 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Recent research has confirmed the presence of Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-like progenitors (MPC) in both normal and osteoarthritic cartilage. However, there is only limited information concerning how MPC markers are expressed with osteoarthritis (OA) progression. The purpose of this study was to compare [...] Read more.
Recent research has confirmed the presence of Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-like progenitors (MPC) in both normal and osteoarthritic cartilage. However, there is only limited information concerning how MPC markers are expressed with osteoarthritis (OA) progression. The purpose of this study was to compare the prevalence of various MPC markers in different OA grades. Human osteoarthritic tibial plateaus were obtained from ten patients undergoing total knee replacement. Each sample had been classified into a mild or severe group according to OARSI scoring. Tissue was taken from each specimen and mRNA expression levels of CD105, CD166, Notch 1, Sox9, Acan and Col II A1 were measured at day 0 and day 14 (2 weeks in vitro). Furthermore, MSC markers: Nucleostemin, CD90, CD73, CD166, CD105 and Notch 1 were studied by immunofluorescence. mRNA levels of MSC markers did not differ between mild and severe OA at day 0. At day 14, protein analysis showed that proliferated cells from both sources expressed all 6 MSC markers. Only cells from the mild OA subjects resulted in a significant increase of mRNA CD105 and CD166 after in vitro expansion. Moreover, cells from the mild OA subjects showed significantly higher levels of CD105, Sox9 and Acan compared with those from severe OA specimens. Results confirmed the presence of MSC markers in mild and severe OA tissue at both mRNA and protein levels. We found significant differences between cells obtained from mild compared to severe OA specimens suggests that mild OA derived cells may have a greater MSC potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Human Dental Pulp Cells Differentiate toward Neuronal Cells and Promote Neuroregeneration in Adult Organotypic Hippocampal Slices In Vitro
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(8), 1745; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18081745 - 11 Aug 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
The adult mammalian central nerve system has fundamental difficulties regarding effective neuroregeneration. The aim of this study is to investigate whether human dental pulp cells (DPCs) can promote neuroregeneration by (i) being differentiated toward neuronal cells and/or (ii) stimulating local neurogenesis in the [...] Read more.
The adult mammalian central nerve system has fundamental difficulties regarding effective neuroregeneration. The aim of this study is to investigate whether human dental pulp cells (DPCs) can promote neuroregeneration by (i) being differentiated toward neuronal cells and/or (ii) stimulating local neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus. Using immunostaining, we demonstrated that adult human dental pulp contains multipotent DPCs, including STRO-1, CD146 and P75-positive stem cells. DPC-formed spheroids were able to differentiate into neuronal, vascular, osteogenic and cartilaginous lineages under osteogenic induction. However, under neuronal inductive conditions, cells in the DPC-formed spheroids differentiated toward neuronal rather than other lineages. Electrophysiological study showed that these cells consistently exhibit the capacity to produce action potentials, suggesting that they have a functional feature in neuronal cells. We further co-cultivated DPCs with adult mouse hippocampal slices on matrigel in vitro. Immunostaining and presto blue assay showed that DPCs were able to stimulate the growth of neuronal cells (especially neurons) in both the CA1 zone and the edges of the hippocampal slices. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), was expressed in co-cultivated DPCs. In conclusion, our data demonstrated that DPCs are well-suited to differentiate into the neuronal lineage. They are able to stimulate neurogenesis in the adult mouse hippocampus through neurotrophic support in vitro. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Effects of Co-Culture Media on Hepatic Differentiation of hiPSC with or without HUVEC Co-Culture
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(8), 1724; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18081724 - 07 Aug 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
The derivation of hepatocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) is of great interest for applications in pharmacological research. However, full maturation of hiPSC-derived hepatocytes has not yet been achieved in vitro. To improve hepatic differentiation, co-cultivation of hiPSC with human umbilical [...] Read more.
The derivation of hepatocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) is of great interest for applications in pharmacological research. However, full maturation of hiPSC-derived hepatocytes has not yet been achieved in vitro. To improve hepatic differentiation, co-cultivation of hiPSC with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) during hepatic differentiation was investigated in this study. In the first step, different culture media variations based on hepatocyte culture medium (HCM) were tested in HUVEC mono-cultures to establish a suitable culture medium for co-culture experiments. Based on the results, two media variants were selected to differentiate hiPSC-derived definitive endodermal (DE) cells into mature hepatocytes with or without HUVEC addition. DE cells differentiated in mono-cultures in the presence of those media variants showed a significant increase (p < 0.05) in secretion of α-fetoprotein and in activities of cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoenzymes CYP2B6 and CYP3A4 as compared with cells differentiated in unmodified HCM used as control. Co-cultivation with HUVEC did not further improve the differentiation outcome. Thus, it can be concluded that the effect of the used medium outweighed the effect of HUVEC co-culture, emphasizing the importance of the culture medium composition for hiPSC differentiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessCommunication
Intrapancreatic Parenchymal Injection of Cells as a Useful Tool for Allowing a Small Number of Proliferative Cells to Grow In Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(8), 1678; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18081678 - 02 Aug 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
In vivo inoculation of cells such as tumor cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS)/embryonic stem (ES) cells into immunocompromised mice has been considered as a powerful technique to evaluate their potential to proliferate or differentiate into various cell types originating from three germ [...] Read more.
In vivo inoculation of cells such as tumor cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS)/embryonic stem (ES) cells into immunocompromised mice has been considered as a powerful technique to evaluate their potential to proliferate or differentiate into various cell types originating from three germ cell layers. Subcutaneous grafting and grafting under the kidney capsule have been widely used for this purpose, but there are some demerits such as the requirement of a large number of tumor cells for inoculation and frequent failure of tumorigenesis. Therefore, grafting into other sites has been explored, including intratesticular or intramuscular grafting as well as grafting into the cochleae, liver, or salivary glands. In this study, we found that intrapancreatic parenchymal injection of cells is useful for allowing a small number of cells (~15 × 103 cells or ~30 cell clumps μL−1·site−1) to proliferate and sometimes differentiate into various types of cells. It requires only surgical exposure of the pancreas over the dorsal skin and subsequent injection of cells towards the pancreatic parenchyma under dissecting microscope-based observation using a mouthpiece-controlled glass micropipette. We now name this technology “intrapancreatic parenchymal cell transplantation (IPPCT)”, which will be useful, especially when only a small number of cells or colonies are available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
RUNX1 Plays an Important Role in Mediating BMP9-Induced Osteogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Line C3H10T1/2, Murine Multi-Lineage Cells Lines C2C12 and MEFs
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(7), 1348; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18071348 - 23 Jun 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
As one of the least studied bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), BMP9 is highly capable of promoting osteogenic differentiation. However, the underlying mechanism involved remains largely unknown. Recent studies have demonstrated that RUNX1 (runt-related transcription factor 1) is essential in osteoblast/chondrocyte maturation. In this [...] Read more.
As one of the least studied bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), BMP9 is highly capable of promoting osteogenic differentiation. However, the underlying mechanism involved remains largely unknown. Recent studies have demonstrated that RUNX1 (runt-related transcription factor 1) is essential in osteoblast/chondrocyte maturation. In this study, we investigated the function of RUNX1 in BMP9-induced osteogenic of murine mesenchymal stem cell line (C3H10T1/2) and murine multi-lineage cell lines (C2C12 and MEFs). Our data showed that BMP9 promoted the endogenous expression of RUNX1 in C3H10T1/2, C2C12 and MEFs. Moreover, RUNX1 was probably a direct target of BMP9/Smad signaling. BMP9-induced osteogenic differentiation was enhanced by overexpression of RUNX1, whereas inhibited by knockdown RUNX1 in C3H10T1/2, C2C12 and MEFs. Further mechanism studies demonstrated that RUNX1 might affect BMP9-induced phosphorylation of Smad1/5/8, but not the phosphorylation of p38 and ERK1/2.Our results suggest that RUNX1 may be an essential modulator in BMP9- induced osteogenic differentiation of MSCs (Mesenchymal stem cells). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Lipid Storage and Autophagy in Melanoma Cancer Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18061271 - 15 Jun 2017
Cited by 10
Abstract
Cancer stem cells (CSC) represent a key cellular subpopulation controlling biological features such as cancer progression in all cancer types. By using melanospheres established from human melanoma patients, we compared less differentiated melanosphere-derived CSC to differentiating melanosphere-derived cells. Increased lipid uptake was found [...] Read more.
Cancer stem cells (CSC) represent a key cellular subpopulation controlling biological features such as cancer progression in all cancer types. By using melanospheres established from human melanoma patients, we compared less differentiated melanosphere-derived CSC to differentiating melanosphere-derived cells. Increased lipid uptake was found in melanosphere-derived CSC vs. differentiating melanosphere-derived cells, paralleled by strong expression of lipogenic factors Sterol Regulatory Element-Binding Protein-1 (SREBP-1) and Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor-γ (PPAR-γ). An inverse relation between lipid-storing phenotype and autophagy was also found, since microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-Light Chain 3 (LC3) lipidation is reduced in melanosphere-derived CSC. To investigate upstream autophagy regulators, Phospho-AMP activated Protein Kinase (P-AMPK) and Phospho-mammalian Target of Rapamycin (P-mTOR) were analyzed; lower P-AMPK and higher P-mTOR expression in melanosphere-derived CSC were found, thus explaining, at least in part, their lower autophagic activity. In addition, co-localization of LC3-stained autophagosome spots and perilipin-stained lipid droplets was demonstrated mainly in differentiating melanosphere-derived cells, further supporting the role of autophagy in lipid droplets clearance. The present manuscript demonstrates an inverse relationship between lipid-storing phenotype and melanoma stem cells differentiation, providing novel indications involving autophagy in melanoma stem cells biology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Differential Sarcomere and Electrophysiological Maturation of Human iPSC-Derived Cardiac Myocytes in Monolayer vs. Aggregation-Based Differentiation Protocols
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1173; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18061173 - 01 Jun 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) represent a powerful human model to study cardiac disease in vitro, notably channelopathies and sarcomeric cardiomyopathies. Different protocols for cardiac differentiation of iPSCs have been proposed either based on embroid body formation (3D) or, more recently, on [...] Read more.
Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) represent a powerful human model to study cardiac disease in vitro, notably channelopathies and sarcomeric cardiomyopathies. Different protocols for cardiac differentiation of iPSCs have been proposed either based on embroid body formation (3D) or, more recently, on monolayer culture (2D). We performed a direct comparison of the characteristics of the derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) on day 27 ± 2 of differentiation between 3D and 2D differentiation protocols with two different Wnt-inhibitors were compared: IWR1 (inhibitor of Wnt response) or IWP2 (inhibitor of Wnt production). We firstly found that the level of Troponin T (TNNT2) expression measured by FACS was significantly higher for both 2D protocols as compared to the 3D protocol. In the three methods, iPSC-CM show sarcomeric structures. However, iPSC-CM generated in 2D protocols constantly displayed larger sarcomere lengths as compared to the 3D protocol. In addition, mRNA and protein analyses reveal higher cTNi to ssTNi ratios in the 2D protocol using IWP2 as compared to both other protocols, indicating a higher sarcomeric maturation. Differentiation of cardiac myocytes with 2D monolayer-based protocols and the use of IWP2 allows the production of higher yield of cardiac myocytes that have more suitable characteristics to study sarcomeric cardiomyopathies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Transplantation of Menstrual Blood-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Promotes the Repair of LPS-Induced Acute Lung Injury
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18040689 - 27 Mar 2017
Cited by 26
Abstract
Acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Menstrual blood-derived stem cells (MenSCs) have been shown to be good therapeutic tools in diseases such as ovarian failure and cardiac fibrosis. However, relevant studies of [...] Read more.
Acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Menstrual blood-derived stem cells (MenSCs) have been shown to be good therapeutic tools in diseases such as ovarian failure and cardiac fibrosis. However, relevant studies of MenSCs in ALI have not yet proceeded. We hypothesized that MenSC could attenuate the inflammation in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced ALI and promote the repair of damaged lung. ALI model was induced by LPS in C57 mice, and saline or MenSCs were administered via tail vein after four hours. The MenSCs were subsequently detected in the lungs by a live imaging system. The MenSCs not only improved pulmonary microvascular permeability and attenuated histopathological damage, but also mediated the downregulation of IL-1β and the upregulation of IL-10 in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and the damaged lung. Immunohistochemistry revealed the increased expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and the reduced expression of caspase-3 indicating the beneficial effect of MenSCs. Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) was also upregulated after MenSCs administrated. As shown using transwell co-culture, the MenSCs also could improve the viability of BEAS-2B cells and inhibit LPS-induced apoptosis. These findings suggest that MenSC-based therapies could be promising strategies for treating ALI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessReview
Diabetes-Induced Dysfunction of Mitochondria and Stem Cells in Skeletal Muscle and the Nervous System
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2147; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102147 - 14 Oct 2017
Cited by 8
Abstract
Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common metabolic diseases spread all over the world, which results in hyperglycemia caused by the breakdown of insulin secretion or insulin action or both. Diabetes has been reported to disrupt the functions and dynamics of mitochondria, [...] Read more.
Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common metabolic diseases spread all over the world, which results in hyperglycemia caused by the breakdown of insulin secretion or insulin action or both. Diabetes has been reported to disrupt the functions and dynamics of mitochondria, which play a fundamental role in regulating metabolic pathways and are crucial to maintain appropriate energy balance. Similar to mitochondria, the functions and the abilities of stem cells are attenuated under diabetic condition in several tissues. In recent years, several studies have suggested that the regulation of mitochondria functions and dynamics is critical for the precise differentiation of stem cells. Importantly, physical exercise is very useful for preventing the diabetic alteration by improving the functions of both mitochondria and stem cells. In the present review, we provide an overview of the diabetic alterations of mitochondria and stem cells and the preventive effects of physical exercise on diabetes, focused on skeletal muscle and the nervous system. We propose physical exercise as a countermeasure for the dysfunction of mitochondria and stem cells in several target tissues under diabetes complication and to improve the physiological function of patients with diabetes, resulting in their quality of life being maintained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Challenges and Strategies for Improving the Regenerative Effects of Mesenchymal Stromal Cell-Based Therapies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2087; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102087 - 02 Oct 2017
Cited by 29
Abstract
Cell-based therapies have the potential to revolutionize current treatments for diseases with high prevalence and related economic and social burden. Unfortunately, clinical trials have made only modest improvements in restoring normal function to degenerating tissues. This limitation is due, at least in part, [...] Read more.
Cell-based therapies have the potential to revolutionize current treatments for diseases with high prevalence and related economic and social burden. Unfortunately, clinical trials have made only modest improvements in restoring normal function to degenerating tissues. This limitation is due, at least in part, to the death of transplanted cells within a few hours after transplant due to a combination of mechanical, cellular, and host factors. In particular, mechanical stress during implantation, extracellular matrix loss upon delivery, nutrient and oxygen deprivation at the recipient site, and host inflammatory response are detrimental factors limiting long-term transplanted cell survival. The beneficial effect of cell therapy for regenerative medicine ultimately depends on the number of administered cells reaching the target tissue, their viability, and their promotion of tissue regeneration. Therefore, strategies aiming at improving viable cell engraftment are crucial for regenerative medicine. Here we review the major factors that hamper successful cell engraftment and the strategies that have been studied to enhance the beneficial effects of cell therapy. Moreover, we provide a perspective on whether mesenchymal stromal cell-derived extracellular vesicle delivery, as a cell-free regenerative approach, may circumvent current cell therapy limitations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessReview
The Potential for Gut Organoid Derived Interstitial Cells of Cajal in Replacement Therapy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2059; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102059 - 26 Sep 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Effective digestion requires propagation of food along the entire length of the gastrointestinal tract. This process involves coordinated waves of peristalsis produced by enteric neural cell types, including different categories of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC). Impaired food transport along the gastrointestinal tract, [...] Read more.
Effective digestion requires propagation of food along the entire length of the gastrointestinal tract. This process involves coordinated waves of peristalsis produced by enteric neural cell types, including different categories of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC). Impaired food transport along the gastrointestinal tract, either too fast or too slow, causes a range of gut motility disorders that affect millions of people worldwide. Notably, loss of ICC has been shown to affect gut motility. Patients that suffer from gut motility disorders regularly experience diarrhoea and/or constipation, insomnia, anxiety, attention lapses, irritability, dizziness, and headaches that greatly affect both physical and mental health. Limited treatment options are available for these patients, due to the scarcity of human gut tissue for research and transplantation. Recent advances in stem cell technology suggest that large amounts of rudimentary, yet functional, human gut tissue can be generated in vitro for research applications. Intriguingly, these stem cell-derived gut organoids appear to contain functional ICC, although their frequency and functional properties are yet to be fully characterised. By reviewing methods of gut organoid generation, together with what is known of the molecular and functional characteristics of ICC, this article highlights short- and long-term goals that need to be overcome in order to develop ICC-based therapies for gut motility disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessReview
Mesenchymal Stem Cell Secretome: Toward Cell-Free Therapeutic Strategies in Regenerative Medicine
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1852; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18091852 - 25 Aug 2017
Cited by 112
Abstract
Earlier research primarily attributed the effects of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapies to their capacity for local engrafting and differentiating into multiple tissue types. However, recent studies have revealed that implanted cells do not survive for long, and that the benefits of MSC [...] Read more.
Earlier research primarily attributed the effects of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapies to their capacity for local engrafting and differentiating into multiple tissue types. However, recent studies have revealed that implanted cells do not survive for long, and that the benefits of MSC therapy could be due to the vast array of bioactive factors they produce, which play an important role in the regulation of key biologic processes. Secretome derivatives, such as conditioned media or exosomes, may present considerable advantages over cells for manufacturing, storage, handling, product shelf life and their potential as a ready-to-go biologic product. Nevertheless, regulatory requirements for manufacturing and quality control will be necessary to establish the safety and efficacy profile of these products. Among MSCs, human uterine cervical stem cells (hUCESCs) may be a good candidate for obtaining secretome-derived products. hUCESCs are obtained by Pap cervical smear, which is a less invasive and painful method than those used for obtaining other MSCs (for example, from bone marrow or adipose tissue). Moreover, due to easy isolation and a high proliferative rate, it is possible to obtain large amounts of hUCESCs or secretome-derived products for research and clinical use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Open AccessReview
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Modeling of Gaucher’s Disease: What Have We Learned?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 888; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18040888 - 21 Apr 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
Gaucher’s disease (GD) is the most frequently inherited lysosomal storage disease, presenting both visceral and neurologic symptoms. Mutations in acid β-glucocerebrosidase disrupt the sphingolipid catabolic pathway promoting glucosylceramide (GlcCer) accumulation in lysosomes. Current treatment options are enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) and substrate reduction [...] Read more.
Gaucher’s disease (GD) is the most frequently inherited lysosomal storage disease, presenting both visceral and neurologic symptoms. Mutations in acid β-glucocerebrosidase disrupt the sphingolipid catabolic pathway promoting glucosylceramide (GlcCer) accumulation in lysosomes. Current treatment options are enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) and substrate reduction therapy (SRT). However, neither of these approaches is effective in treating the neurological aspect of the disease. The use of small pharmacological compounds that act as molecular chaperones is a promising approach that is still experimental. In recent years, an association between GD and Parkinson like synucleinopathies has been discovered. Since 1992, a number of mouse models of GD have been the developed and partially reproduce phenotype of the disease. More recently, the discovery of direct reprograming has allowed the derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSc) from fibroblasts obtained from GD patients. iPSc can be expanded indefinitely in vitro and differentiated to macrophages and neurons, the main relevant cell types involved in GD. In this work, we review iPSc models of GD and summarize what we have learned from this system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessConference Report
Bioethics of Clinical Applications of Stem Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 814; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18040814 - 12 Apr 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
The clinical applications of stem cells pose a multitude of problems, including safety, efficacy, information and consent, the right to unproven treatments, the “right to try”, costs, access, sustainability, scientific scrupulousness, patents and regulatory aspects, to name but a few. This article does [...] Read more.
The clinical applications of stem cells pose a multitude of problems, including safety, efficacy, information and consent, the right to unproven treatments, the “right to try”, costs, access, sustainability, scientific scrupulousness, patents and regulatory aspects, to name but a few. This article does not address individual issues, but rather introduces and discusses some of the possible approaches to solving the problems. The first part compares the consequentialist and deontological approaches, offering an overview of “top–down” and “bottom–up” models and proposing the principles of personalism as applied in clinical settings. The second part of the article suggests practical frameworks for organising the ethical issues, focusing in particular on the medical indications, patient preferences, quality of life, and contextual features. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cell Research)
Back to TopTop