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Volume 35 Issue 12 | December 2017
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Highlighted Articles

Small Molecule Antagonist of Cell Surface Glycosaminoglycans Restricts Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells in a Pluripotent State

Mia Huang et al., STEM CELLS

The therapeutic potential of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) hinges on the ability to direct differentiation. Small molecules that enable precision control of stem cell states have become powerful tools in basic biology research and regenerative medicine. Although proteins and nucleic acids have been explored as targets in this area, cell surface glycans, have not. Here, we utilize a small molecule, surfen, that binds to heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycans, to maintain the pluripotency of ESCs. Surfen keeps ESCs pluripotent by antagonizing the interaction of glycosaminoglycans with growth factors and silencing downstream signaling pathways and gene expression. We anticipate that this report will accelerate efforts in the design and synthesis of new molecules for targeting other glycans involved in controlling stem cell fate.

Effect of Autologous Cord Blood Infusion on Motor Function and Brain Connectivity in Young Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Randomized, Placebo‚ÄźControlled Trial

Jessica M. Sun et al., STEM CELLS Translational Medicine

Results of this trial suggest that, when adequately dosed, an intravenous infusion of autologous umbilical cord blood improves whole brain connectivity and motor function in young children with cerebral palsy.

An Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Patient Specific Model of Complement Factor H (Y402H) Polymorphism Displays Characteristic Features of Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Indicates a Beneficial Role for UV Light Exposure

Dean Hallam et al., STEM CELLS

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the most common forms of blindness. Drugs that treat wet AMD have been a major breakthrough; however, there is currently no treatment for the dry form. Some of the challenges associated with studying AMD are that the affected retinal tissue is difficult to obtain, there are no animal models that faithfully mimic the disease, and human trials are long and costly. This article reports creation of a disease model for AMD patients with the most common genetic risk factor for the disease. Strong evidence is presented to show that this model mimics the key features of AMD and can be used to test new therapies and to better understand the pathology of disease and the role of environmental, dietary, and lifestyle factors.

A Pilot Study of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Acute Liver Allograft Rejection

Ming Shi et al., STEM CELLS Translational Medicine

This study aimed to evaluate the safety and clinical feasibility of umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cell (UC-MSCS) therapy in liver transplant patients with acute graft rejection. No complications or side effects were observed. UC-MSC therapy can alleviate liver damage and improve allograft histology. Furthermore, the peripheral frequency of regulatory T cells (Tregs), the Treg/T helper 17 (Th17) cell ratio, and the levels of serum transforming growth factor beta 1 and prostaglandin E2 were significantly increased after UC-MSC transfusion.

Press Releases

Study Shows How Growth Factor Aids Stem Cells’ Ability to Regenerate Damaged Teeth

New Study May Lead to Speedy Recovery From Hip Fractures

Stem Cells May Help Improve Corneal Wound Healing


Article Scans

Video Highlights

Video abstract from Drs. Banerjee, Surendran, Bharti, Morishita, Varshney, and Pal on their recently published STEM CELLS paper entitled, "Long non-coding RNA RP11-380D23.2 drives distal-proximal patterning of the lung by regulating PITX2 expression." Read the paper here.

Video abstract from Drs. Sayed, Ospino, Himmati, Lee, Chanda, Mocarski, and Cooke on their recently published STEM CELLS paper entitled, "Retinoic Acid Inducible Gene 1 Protein (RIG1)-like Receptor Pathway is Required for Efficient Nuclear Reprogramming." Read the paper here.

Video Library