DAVID GRANOVSKY

Posts Tagged ‘regenerative medicine’

BLOOD, HEART AND BRAIN STEM CELLS

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on April 11, 2013 at 10:40 am

stem cell science

Science daily is an excellent source for medical article and studies.  I’ve received their feed for quite a while now.  Here, are 3 stem cell articles from today.

  1. Blood stem cells, besides turning into hema type cells can also become white blood cells.
  2. Cardiac stem cells from bone marrow can heal the heart.  This we’ve known since the late 90’s but additional confirmation is always appreciated.
  3. Brain stem cells not only can turn into brain and nerve cells but they also clear out the garbage in the brain and keep the cells in a perpetual stem cell state.

These are 3 good stem cell articles but also of note…

This is the first time Science Daily has had three stem cell articles in their feed.  The world is turning to stem cells.  Are you?

———————————————-

Surprising ability of blood stem cells to respond to emergencies

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130410131227.htm 

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 10:12 AM PDT

Scientists have revealed an unexpected role for hematopoietic stem cells: They do not merely ensure the continuous renewal of our blood cells; in emergencies they are capable of producing white blood cells “on demand” that help the body deal with inflammation or infection. This property could be used to protect against infections in patients undergoing bone marrow transplants, while their immune system reconstitutes itself.

 

Cardiopoietic ‘smart’ stem cells show promise in heart failure patients

 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130410103349.htm

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 07:33 AM PDT

Therapy with cardiopoietic (cardiogenically-instructed) or “smart” stem cells can improve heart health for people suffering from heart failure. This is the first application in patients of lineage-guided stem cells for targeted regeneration of a failing organ, paving the way to development of next generation regenerative medicine solutions.

 

Spring cleaning in your brain’s stem cells?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130410094120.htm

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 06:41 AM PDT

Deep inside your brain, a legion of stem cells lies ready to turn into new brain and nerve cells when you need them. New research shows the vital role of a type of internal “spring cleaning” that both clears out garbage inside the cells, and keeps them in their perpetual stem-cell state.

IBD PATIENTS SOON TO BE TREATED WITH STEM CELLS

In SCIENCE & STEM CELLS, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on March 4, 2013 at 9:02 am

mix_bowel diagram

Research Supports Promise of Cell Therapy for Bowel Disease

Researchers have identified a special population of adult stem cells in bone marrow that have the natural ability to migrate to the intestine and produce intestinal cells, suggesting their potential to restore healthy tissue in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Up to 1 million Americans have IBD, which is characterized by frequent diarrhea and abdominal pain. IBD actually refers to two conditions — ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease — in which the intestines become red and swollen and develop ulcers, probably as the result of the body having an immune response to its own tissue.

While there is currently no cure for IBD, there are drug therapies aimed at reducing inflammation and preventing the immune response. Because these therapies aren’t always effective, scientists hope to use stem cells to develop an injectable cell therapy to treat IBD.  The research findings are reported online in the FASEB Journal (the journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) by senior researcher Graca Almeida-Porada, M.D., Ph.D., professor of regenerative medicine at Wake Forest Baptist’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and colleagues.

The new research complements a 2012 report by Almeida-Porada’s team that identified stem cells in cord blood that are involved in blood vessel formation and also have the ability to migrate to the intestine.  “We’ve identified two populations of human cells that migrate to the intestine — one involved in blood vessel formation and the other that can replenish intestinal cells and modulates inflammation,” said Almeida-Porada. “Our hope is that a mixture of these cells could be used as an injectable therapy to treat IBD.”

The cells would theoretically induce tissue recovery by contributing to a pool of cells within the intestine. The lining of the intestine has one of the highest cellular turnover rates in the body, with all cell types being renewed weekly from this pool of cells, located in an area of the intestine known as the crypt.  In the current study, the team used cell markers to identify a population of stem cells in human bone marrow with the highest potential to migrate to the intestine and thrive. The cells express high levels of a receptor (ephrin type B) that is involved in tissue repair and wound closure.

The cells also known to modulate inflammation were injected into fetal sheep at 55 to 62 days gestation. At 75 days post-gestation, the researchers found that most of the transplanted cells were positioned in the crypt area, replenishing the stem cells in the intestine.

“Previous studies in animals have shown that the transplantation of bone-marrow-derived cells can contribute to the regeneration of the gastrointestinal tract in IBD,” said Almeida-Porada.

http://www.wakehealth.edu

FOR REGENERATIVE MEDICINE, ADIPOSE (FAT) STEM CELLS ARE BEST

In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on January 26, 2013 at 10:41 am

david

50% MORE REGENERATIVE STEM CELLS IN FAT THAN IN CORD BLOOD: 

“Adult stem cells are derived from blood, umbilical cords, bone marrow, placenta, fat tissue, muscle, nasal neurological, breast milk, menstruation, dental pulp, lungs, eyes, pancreas and many more locations. While some are better than others for regenerative treatment, it has long been believed that those cells derived from reproductive associated organs are some of the most powerful.  This study shows that umbilical cord derived stem cells are not as great as once believed.”

In fact, compared to the 100% of mesenchymal stem cells found in cells derived from adipose (fat), only 67% of cord blood stem cells are mesenchymal and lend themselves toward regenerative treatments.*  While bone marrow derived stem cells also have 100% mesenchymal cells, they have reduced proliferation and have a history of causing malignant cells – ‘In addition, Izadpanah et al.** demonstrated that long-term cultivation of MSC beyond passage 20 may result in their transformation to malignant cells.”***


For regenerative medicine, nothing beats adipose derived stem cells. -dg

umbilical-cord-blood

Only A Specific Group Of Cord Blood Stem Cells Found To Be Efficient For Use In Regenerative Medicine

Scientists at the University of Granada and Alcala de Henares University have found that not all isolated stem cells are equally valid in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. In a paper recently published in the prestigious journal Tissue Engineering the researchers report that, contrary to what was thought, only a specific group of cord blood stem cells (CB-SC) maintained in culture are useful for therapeutic purposes.

At present, CB-SCs are key to regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. From all types of CB-SC those called “Wharton’s jelly stem cells (HWJSC)” are stirring up the interest of specialists in regenerative medicine, due to their accessibility and great ability to develop into several types of tissue and modulate immune responses.

Through a combination of microscopy and microanalysis essays, and the study of the genes involved in cell viability, the researchers discovered that only a specific group of cord blood stem cells (CB-SC) maintained in culture is useful for therapeutic purposes

The Most Suitable Cells

The relevance of this paper, which was the cover article in the journal Tissue Engineering, lies in the possibility to select the most suitable HWJSC for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. According to these researchers, the different studies with HWJSC have obtained contradictory results because researchers failed to previously select the most suitable cell group.

The results of this study also open the possibility to select stem cell subgroups from different tissues, in order to improve the therapeutical efficacy of different regenerative medicine protocols.

This research study was conducted by the Tissue Engineering research group at the University of Granada Histology Department coordinated by professor Antonio Campos Muñoz, who recently created artificial skin and a cornea by using stem cells and new biomaterials developed in Granada.

The research group is also composed of professors Alaminos Mingorance and Ingrid Garzón. Professor Garzon was awarded a prize at the World Congress on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine held in Seul for a preliminary study on the same issue.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/254790.php

* , *** Stem Cells. 2006 May;24(5):1294-301. Epub 2006 Jan 12.

** – Izadpanah R, Kaushal D, Kriedt C, Tsien F, Patel B, Dufour J, Bunnell BA. Long-term in vitro expansion alters the biology of adult mesenchymal stem cells. Cancer Res.                                                           2008;68:4229–4238.

ADULT STEM CELLS USED TO CREATE CARDIAC TISSUE

In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on January 19, 2013 at 9:08 am

abc_weir_heart_130118_wg

Adult Stem Cells: A Piece of My Heart, From Cells in My Arm

Doctors have dreamed of a day when science could grow healthy spare parts in a lab for the human body.  A pivotal moment in this search came in the late ’90s when the first embryonic stem cells were isolated. These cells are the biological “seeds” that divide, differentiate and grow into the myriad parts of the human body.  While it was a thrilling discovery, it was also the start of an ethical and political firestorm, since an embryo had to be destroyed in order to isolate its stem cells. In 2001, President George W. Bush signed an executive order to restrict further research.

The move forced scientists to search for other ways and in 2007, researchers in Japan and Wisconsin figured out a way to reprogram adult cells into stem cells. Word of the discovery reached Mayo, and Dr. Tim Nelson and his colleagues at the Center for Regenerative Medicine were intrigued. This could be a way to help all those kids, born with deformed hearts, who sit on transplant waiting lists at Mayo each year.

“This is one technology that allows us to understand disease, but it also allows us to dream about the day we apply that therapeutically.” And as he described his work, he made me a tantalizing offer. If I would agree to partake in their research, he said I “could be the first person to ever see his own heart tissue beat outside his body.”

It began with a biopsy of the skin under my left bicep, all the better to hide the tiny scar. With a small round knife, Dr. Nelson dug out a pencil eraser-sized chunk of my flesh and plopped it into a jar of pink liquid. I flew home and they went to work, using a combination of genes to bioengineer these bits of flesh into pluripotent (“many potentials”) stem cells. At that stage, they could’ve nudged them into becoming neurons or lung cells or even parts of my eyeball, but in keeping with Dr. Nelson’s promise, the Mayo team turned them into cardiac tissue. Months later, I returned for a one-of-a-kind reunion and gazing through that microscope, I could see pumping proof why this kind of medical science just won the Nobel Prize.

Dr. Nelson got most excited when he showed me a tiny piece of my cardiac tissue that had dramatically formed into the shape of a heart — a pumping, three-dimensional glimpse into a future when this kind of cell could theoretically be injected into a heart-attack victim or a diseased child and literally mend the person from within.

See the full story of Bill Weir’s experience

http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/human-heart-tissue-bill-weirs-arm-18253132

Bacteria’s hidden skill could pave way for stem cell treatments

In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on January 18, 2013 at 9:00 am

Bacteria’s hidden skill could pave way for stem cell treatments

A discovery about the way in which bugs spread throughout the body could help to develop stem cell treatments.  Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found that bacteria are able to change the make-up of supporting cells within the nerve system, called Schwann cells, so that they take on the properties of stem cells.  Because stem cells can develop into any of the different cell types in the body – including liver and brain cells – mimicking this process could aid research into a range of degenerative conditions.

Scientists made the discovery studying bacteria that cause leprosy, which is an infectious neurodegenerative disease.  The study, carried out in mice, found that in the early stages of infection, the bacteria were able to protect themselves from the body’s immune system by hiding in Schwann cells or glial cells.  Once the infection was fully established, the bacteria were able to convert the Schwann cells to become like stem cells.

Like typical stem cells, these cells were pluripotent, meaning they could then become other cell types, for instance muscle cells. This enabled the bacteria to spread to tissues in the body.  The bacteria-generated stem cells also have another unexpected characteristic. They can secrete specialized proteins – called chemokines – that attract immune cells, which in turn pick up the bacteria and spread the infection.

Scientists believe these mechanisms, used by leprosy bacteria, could exist in other infectious diseases.   Knowledge of this newly discovered tactic used by bacteria to spread infection could help research to improve treatments and earlier diagnosis of infectious diseases.

The study is published in the journal Cell.

Professor Anura Rambukkana, of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, who led the research, said: “Bacterial infections can completely change a cell’s make up, which could have a wide-range of implications, including in stem cell research.

“We have found a new weapon in a bacteria’s armory that enables them to spread effectively in the body by converting infected cells to stem cells. Greater understanding of how this occurs could help research to diagnose bacterial infectious diseases, such as leprosy, much earlier.”

The study, carried out in Professor Rambukkana’s laboratories at the University of Edinburgh and the Rockefeller University, was funded by the US National Institutes of Health.  It showed that when an infected Schwann cell was reprogrammed to become like a stem cell, it lost the function of Schwann cells to protect nerve cells, which transmit signals to the brain. This led to nerves becoming damaged.  Professor Rambukkana added: “This is very intriguing as it is the first time that we have seen that functional adult tissue cells can be reprogrammed into stem cells by natural bacterial infection, which also does not carry the risk of creating tumorous cells.

“Potentially you could use the bacteria to change the flexibility of cells, turning them into stem cells and then use the standard antibiotics to kill the bacteria completely so that the cells could then be transplanted safely to tissue that has been damaged by degenerative disease.”

Dr Rob Buckle, Head of Regenerative Medicine at the MRC, added: “This ground-breaking new research shows that bacteria are able to sneak under the radar of the immune system by hijacking a naturally occurring mechanism to ‘reprogramme’ cells to make them look and behave like stem cells. This discovery is important not just for our understanding and treatment of bacterial disease, but for the rapidly progressing field of regenerative medicine. In future, this knowledge may help scientists to improve the safety and utility of lab-produced pluripotent stem cells and help drive the development of new regenerative therapies for a range of human diseases, which are currently impossible to treat.”

Professor Rambukkana, who is Chair of Regeneration Biology at the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, is also a member of the University’s Centre for Neuroregeneration and Centre for Infectious Diseases.

http://www.sciencecodex.com/bacterias_hidden_skill_could_pave_way_for_stem_cell_treatments-105265

ANIMALS BENEFIT FROM STEM CELL TREATMENTS

In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on January 16, 2013 at 9:00 am
Mikey along with owner Stephan Nadzam.

Mikey along with owner Stephan Nadzam.

Pineville vet using stem cell therapy

This past November, Mikey, a German Shepard, was dealing with “the most progressive hip dysplasia I’ve seen in 13 years,” said Dr. Michael Herman, a veterinarian who owns South Charlotte Animal Hospital in Pineville. “His X-rays were just horrific, showing bone against bone.”

Dr. Michael Herman, one of the first veterinarians in Charlotte to offer stem cell therapy for animals, used an innovative stem cell procedure to regenerate growth in Mikey’s hips and leg joints.  First, Dr. Herman extracted fat tissue from behind the shoulder area of Mikey.  Then his technician at the hospital then adds enzymes to “photo activate” the cells, which in turn accelerates the regeneration of cells. Dr. Herman then injected the regenerated cells directly into the joint areas while intravenously administering any leftover cells.

“I normally take about two tablespoons of fat from either the shoulder area of the animal or the abdomen and within that fat is five to 50 times the amount of stem cells than what we can get from bone marrow.”  Stem cells are the body’s repair cells, and they have the ability to divide and differentiate into many different types of cells based on where they are needed throughout the body.  The cells can divide and turn into tissues such as skin, fat, muscle bone, cartilage and nerve, said Dr. Herman.

“Cells at the embryonic level can differentiate cells on a much higher level, even replicating human organs.  Contrary to embryonic cells, Dr. Herman said, “There are no moral or ethical concerns in harvesting these adult cells, activating them and reintroducing them back to the animal patients in areas where healing and regeneration is needed.”

 “Regenerative medicine is really the wave of the futures for veterinarians…It’s less invasive and will be a huge part of treating patients.”

“Mikey’s owners, Stephan Nadzam, 37 and his wife, Rosa DiSimone, 44, who live near Lake Wylie, know how stem cell therapy has affected their beloved dog.  The pair rescued Mikey from a family that kept him crated nearly all day and night for four years, leaving Mikey’s legs in bad shape. He underwent stem cell therapy in 2009 performed by a New Jersey veterinarian. It provided relief for nearly four years until they noticed the dog was having trouble with stairs.”

Dr. Herman performed the procedure on Mikey in the end of November and within the first 24 hrs he was up and mobile.  Mikey’s owners noticed continued Improvement over the following days and noted that since the treatment, they have not fed Mikey any pain medication.

Saddie with owner Katie Miller

Saddie with owner Katie Miller

“Katie Miller of Cotswold is just as equally proud of her 13-year-old Labrador mix, Sadie, who suffers from osteoarthritis.  In addition to having Herman perform therapy on the dog, Sadie also received a dose of platelet-rich plasma.  Miller shared a video of Sadie walking across her kitchen the night before the treatment. The dog hobbled and limped, breathing heavily. She then shared a video of Sadie trotting outside happily after 12 days.  I truly think it’s been a miracle for her. It’s allowed cells to regenerate and cartilage to rebuild. She and our younger dog play now, and Leila can sense how much better Sadie feels. Even her eyes look happier.”

Dr Herman said, “He has had a 95 percent success rate and sees “amazing” differences in his patients on average about 45 days after procedures.

STEM CELL TREATMENTS TO BATTLE DMD (DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY)

In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on January 15, 2013 at 9:00 am

herzmuskelzellen-gesund,property=bild,bereich=bio,sprache=en

Stem-Cell Approach Shows Promise for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

“Researchers have shown that transplanting stem cells derived from normal mouse blood vessels into the hearts of mice that model the pathology associated with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) prevents the decrease in heart function associated with DMD.”

Their findings appear in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder caused by a mutation in the gene for dystrophin, a protein that anchors muscle cells in place when they contract. Without dystrophin, muscle contractions tear cell membranes, leading to cell death. The lost muscle cells must be regenerated, but in time, scar tissue replaces the muscle cells, causing the muscle weakness and heart problems typical of DMD.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that DMD affects one in every 3,500 males. The disease is more prevalent in males because the dystrophin mutation occurs on the X chromosome; males have one X and one Y chromosome, so a male with this mutation will have DMD, while females have two X chromosomes and must have the mutation on both of them to have the disease. Females with the mutation in one X chromosome sometimes develop muscle weakness and heart problems as well, and may pass the mutation on to their children.  Although medical advances have extended the lifespans of DMD patients from their teens or 20s into their early 30s, disease-related damage to the heart and diaphragm still limits their lifespan.

“Almost 100 percent of patients develop dilated cardiomyopathy,” in which a weakened heart with enlarged chambers prevents blood from being properly pumped throughout the body, said University of Illinois comparative biosciences professor Suzanne Berry-Miller, who led the study. “Right now, doctors are treating the symptoms of this heart problem by giving patients drugs to try to prolong heart function, but that can’t replace the lost or damaged cells,” she said.

In the new study, the researchers injected stem cells known as aorta-derived mesoangioblasts (ADM) into the hearts of dystrophin-deficient mice that serve as a model for human DMD. The ADM stem cells have a working copy of the dystrophin gene.  This stem cell therapy prevented or delayed heart problems in mice that did not already show signs of the functional or structural defects typical of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the researchers report.

Berry-Miller and her colleagues do not yet know why the functional benefits occur, but proposed three potential mechanisms. They observed that some of the injected stem cells became new heart muscle cells that expressed the lacking dystrophin protein. The treatment also caused existing stem cells in the heart to divide and become new heart muscle cells, and the stem cells stimulated new blood vessel formation in the heart. It is not yet clear which of these effects is responsible for delaying the onset of cardiomyopathy, Berry-Miller said.

“These vessel-derived cells might be good candidates for therapy, but the more important thing is the results give us new potential therapeutic targets to study.  Activating stem cells that are already present in the body to repair tissue would avoid the potential requirement to find a match between donors and recipients and potential rejection of the stem cells by the patients.”

Despite the encouraging results that show that stem cells yield a functional benefit when administered before pathology arises in DMD mouse hearts, a decline in function was seen in mice that already showed the characteristics of dilated cardiomyopathy. One of these characteristics is the replacement of muscle tissue with connective tissue, known as fibrosis.

This difference may occur, Berry-Miller said, as a result of stem cells landing in a pocket of fibrosis rather than in muscle tissue. The stem cells may then become fibroblasts that generate more connective tissue, increasing the amount of scarring and making heart function worse. This shows that the timing of stem cell insertion plays a crucial role in an increase in heart function in mice lacking the dystrophin protein.

She remains optimistic that these results provide a stepping-stone toward new clinical targets for human DMD patients.

“This is the only study so far where a functional benefit has been observed from stem cells in the dystrophin-deficient heart, or where endogenous stem cells in the heart have been observed to produce new muscle cells that replace those lost in DMD, so I think it opens up a new area to focus on in pre-clinical studies for DMD,” Berry-Miller said.

The Illinois Regenerative Medicine Institute supported this research.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130114133350.htm

SNOWMEN RECEIVING STEM CELLS

A DIFFERENT KIND OF STEM CELL

In SCIENCE & STEM CELLS, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on November 26, 2012 at 8:05 am

Human fibroblast

A research team at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center say the new and powerful cells they first created in the laboratory a year ago constitute a new stem-like state of adult epithelial cells. They say these cells have attributes that may make regenerative medicine truly possible.”  This advancement could potentially guide research into a new era of personalized medicine.

-DG

In the November 19 online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), they report that these new stem-like cells do not express the same genes as embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) do. That explains why they don’t produce tumors when they grow in the laboratory, as the other stem cells do, and why they are stable, producing the kind of cells researchers want them to.  “These seem to be exactly the kind of cells that we need to make regenerative medicine a reality,” says the study’s senior investigator, Richard Schlegel, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the department of pathology at Georgetown Lombardi, a part of Georgetown University Medical Center.

This study is a continuation of work that led to a breakthrough in December 2011 when Schlegel and his colleagues demonstrated that he and his team had designed a laboratory technique that keep both normal as well as cancer cells alive indefinitely — which previously had not been possible.  They had discovered that adding two different substances to these cells (a Rho kinase inhibitor and fibroblast feeder cells) pushes them to morph into stem-like cells that stay alive indefinitely. When the two substances are withdrawn from the cells, they revert back to the type of cell that they once were. They dubbed these cells conditionally reprogrammed cells (CRCs).

The advance was seen as an exciting demonstration of personalized cancer medicine. In fact, a case study authored by Schlegel and his team, reported in the September 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), demonstrated how CRCs derived from normal and tumor cells of a 24-year-old man with a rare type of lung tumor allowed physicians to identify an effective cancer therapy. These cells were used to screen potential treatments and in this way, the scientists were able to see which therapies were active against the tumor cells and less harmful to the normal cells.

“Our first clinical application utilizing this technique represents a powerful example of individualized medicine,” Schlegel said in September. But he cautioned, “It will take an army of researchers and solid science to figure out if this technique will be the advance we need to usher in a new era of personalized medicine.”

This study was designed to see how the CRCs compared to known properties of embryonic stem cells and iPSCs, which are adult cells that have been manipulated by addition of genes to make them capable of differentiating (morphing into new adult cell types).  Both embryonic stem cells and iPSCs have been investigated for use in regenerative medicine, but each can form tumors when injected into mice and “it is difficult to control what kind of cells these cells differentiate into,” Schlegel says.  “You may want them to be a lung cell, but they could form a skin cell instead.”

In contrast, cells derived from the lung will develop stem-like properties when the conditions are added, allowing expansion of the lung cell population. However, when the conditions are withdrawn, they will revert to differentiated lung cells, he says. Schlegel added that they do this rapidly — within three days of adding the inhibitor and feeder cells, they efficiently generated large numbers of stem-like cells. It is also completely reversible: when the conditions are taken away, the cells lose their stem-like properties and potentially can be safely implanted into tissue.

The researchers compared gene expression between the three cell types and found that while some of the same genes are expressed in all the cells, CRCs don’t over express the same critical genes that embryonic stem cells and iPSCs do. “Because they don’t express those genes, they don’t form tumors and they are lineage committed, unlike the other cells,” Schlegel says. “That shows us that CRCs are a different kind of stem-like cell.”  As part of the study, the research team showed that when cervical cells are conditioned and placed on a three-dimensional platform, they start to form cells that “look like the cervix,” Schlegel says. The same is true from cells in the trachea — on a 3-D platform, they begin to look like a trachea, he says.

If and when use of CRCs are perfected for the clinic — and that will take considerable work, Schlegel says — they potential could be used in a wide variety of novel ways.  “Perhaps they could be used more broadly for chemosensitivity, as we demonstrated in the NEJM study, for regenerative medicine to replace organ tissue that is damaged, for diabetes — we could remove remaining islet ells in the pancreas, expand them, and implant them back into the pancreas —and to treat the many storage diseases caused by lack of liver enzymes. In those cases, we can take liver cells out, expand them and insert normal genes in them, and put them back in patients,” Schlegel says.  “The potential of these cells are vast, and exciting research to help define their ability is ongoing,” he says.
The research described was funded by a grant to Schlegel from the National Institutes of Health (R01 CA106400) with additional support from an additional NIH grant (5 U42 RR006042). Georgetown University has filed a patent application on the technology described in this paper. Schlegel is an inventor for the patent application.

http://explore.georgetown.edu/news/?ID=67774&PageTemplateID=295

PLURUIPOTENT STEM CELLS, A POTENTIALLY INVALUABLE THERAPEUTIC RESOURCE

In SCIENCE & STEM CELLS on November 21, 2012 at 7:44 am

B0007671 Mouse embryonic stem cells

Pluripotent stem cells are potentially an invaluable therapeutic resource, as shown in a recent study conducted by the Stanford University School of Medicine.  Within this study, researchers found that with appropriate initial coaching of cells and through the use of environmental cues, the human body has the ability to direct differentiation of cells.

 

Pluripotent stem cells are nature’s double-edged sword. Because they can develop into a dizzying variety of cell types and tissues, they are a potentially invaluable therapeutic resource. However, that same developmental flexibility can lead to dangerous tumors called teratomas if the stem cells begin to differentiate out of control in the body.

To prevent this outcome, researchers must first give the cells a not-so-subtle shove toward their final developmental fate before transplanting them into laboratory animals or humans. But exactly how to do so can vary widely among laboratories. Now researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have used an experiment in mice to hit upon a way to possibly skip this fiddly step by instead relying mostly on signals within the body to keep the stem cells in line.

“Before we can use these cells, we have to differentiate, or ‘coach,’ them down a specific developmental pathway,” said Michael Longaker, MD, the Deane P. and Louise Mitchell Professor in the School of Medicine. “But there’s always a question as to exactly how to do that, and how many developmental doors we have to close before we can use the cells. In this study, we found that, with appropriate environmental cues, we could let the body do the work.”

Allowing the body to direct differentiation could speed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of using such pluripotent stem cells, Longaker believes, by eliminating the extended periods of laboratory manipulation required during the forced differentiation of the cells.

Longaker, who co-directs Stanford’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, is the senior author of the research, published online Nov. 19 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Postdoctoral scholars Benjamin Levi, MD, and Jeong Hyun, MD, and research assistant Daniel Montoro are co-first authors of the work. Longaker is also a member of the Stanford Cancer Institute.

“Once we identify the key proteins and signals coaching the tissue within the body, we can try to mimic them when we use the stem cells,” said Longaker. “Just as the shape of water is determined by its container, cells respond to external cues. For example, in the future, if you want to replace a failing liver, you could put the cells in a scaffold or microenvironment that strongly promotes liver cell differentiation and place the cell-seeded scaffold into the liver to let them differentiate in the optimal macroenvironment

http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2012/november/longaker.html

ADULT STEM CELL POTENTIAL IN REGENERATIVE MEDICINE

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on November 14, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Adipose tissue embolus  Case 104

 

By expanding the use of adipose tissue and its stem cell components, scientist and surgeons have made significant strides in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery. “The opportunities for regenerative medicine interventions based on adult stem cells are tremendous…” – Ivona Percec, MD, PhD

 

As researchers work on reconfiguring cells to take on new regenerative properties, a new review from Penn Medicine plastic surgeons sheds additional light on the potential power of adipose-derived stem cells – or adult stem cells harvested from fatty tissue – in reconstructive and regenerative medicine.

Fat-derived stem cells hold potential for regenerative medicine November 9, 2012 in Surgery (Medical Xpress)—As researchers work on reconfiguring cells to take on new regenerative properties, a new review from Penn Medicine plastic surgeons sheds additional light on the potential power of adipose-derived stem cells – or adult stem cells harvested from fatty tissue – in reconstructive and regenerative medicine.

 

Reconstructive plastic surgeons have clinically integrated “fat grafting” into different surgeries for years, for breast, facial, and other reconstructive and restorative surgeries, with good success. Now, researchers are beginning to understand the power that fatty tissue holds. This new paper, published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, enforces that adipose-derived stem cells can be routinely isolated from patients, and once molecular methods are worked out, may be useful for a multitude of regenerative medicine applications. “The opportunities for regenerative medicine interventions based on adult stem cells are tremendous. It is critically important for us to better understand the biology of these cells so that we can develop novel, safe and effective treatments for our patients using their own cells.” said the paper’s senior author, Ivona Percec, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the division of Plastic Surgery in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Many groups are looking into different modes of isolating and modifying these cells for their regenerative properties, including experts at Penn’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine and around Penn Medicine. For example, Dr. Percec’s team is conducting translational research into the mechanisms controlling adipose-derived stem cells, and how they contribute to the normal human aging process. Stem cells can undergo multiple divisions without differentiation, making them useful tools for cell-replacement therapy. Embryonic stem cells can convert to any cell type, whereas adult stem cells, like the stem cells derived from fat, can differentiate into many, but not all, cell types. A person’s own fat tissue could then potentially be converted into cells specially designed to repair damage to the heart, cartilage, blood vessels, brain, muscle, or bone. As regenerative medicine techniques are refined, experts will continue to explore the utility and benefits of stem cells derived from adipose tissue.

 

Fat Grafting’s Past, Present and Future:  Why Adipose Tissue Is Emerging as a Critical Link to the Advancement of Regenerative Medicine  –  Ivona Percec, MD, PhD

medicalexpress.com

%d bloggers like this: