News Update on Stem Cells December 2020

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Stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles ease brain bleeding in newborn rats (Dec. 15, 2020)

For many premature babies there are extreme risks posed with being birthed underdeveloped, among these is intraventricular hemorrhage, which is bleeding in brain cavities containing cerebrospinal fluid. this often leads to complications resulting in the development of seizures, cerebral palsy, developmental defects, and a much higher mortality rate. There are currently no successful treatments for neonatal intraventricular hemorrhages (IVH). However, a recent study has shown that, in rats, treatment with extracellular vesicles from mesenchymal stem cells can lessen the damage from IVH and improve post-incident functionality and outcomes. This is believed to be because MSCs secrete a protein-coding gene called BDNF that, when introduced to the ventricular environment, alters the physiology in such a way as to minimize damage. BDNF is a neurotropic growth factor.


Enhanced Scaffolds and Stem Cells Combine to Promote Bone Repair (Dec. 14, 2020)

Stem cells, scaffolds, and growth factors, when used in tandem, have been shown to repair bone damage. The most effective construct to date is direct injection of an adenovirus vector (rAAV) encoding BMP-2 along with mesenchymal stem cells. These demonstrate compatibility with bone-scaffolds and the slow release of newly encoded BNP prolongs the effects of MSCs in terms of osteogenic activity.


New method to boost supply of life-saving stem cells (Dec. 18, 2020)

The authors of this study used an algorithm called VIPER to assess the human genome, looking for proteins capable of reprogramming blood-stem cells. Their aim was to force cells to acquire characteristics of hematopoietic stem cells. One protein they uncovered was BAZ2B, which was able to reprogram blood stem cells by rearranging their chromatin, opening up regions in the genome that were previously inaccessible, boosting their population numbers.


CIRM-funded study discovers potential therapy for one of the leading causes of heart disease (Dec. 16, 2020)

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for most demographic groups. Of the potential diseases in the heart, the third most prevalent is calcific aortic disease, which is when calcium starts to accumulate in the heart valves and vessels. This defect will cause them to harden dramatically, sometimes even becoming as hard as bone. This has led scientists to discover the cause most frequently being the NOTCH1 mutation, once corrected this has the potential to reverse calcification.


First patient enrolled in stem cell therapy trial for traumatic injury (Dec. 21, 2020)

At the University of Texas health science center. To evaluate the safety and efficacy of MultiStem in the treatment of hemorrhage following traumatic injury. MultiStem is a clinical product is developed from a special class of stem cells: Multipotent Adult Progenitor Cells.


Mesenchymal stromal cells in Human Immunodeficiency Virus‐infected patients with discordant immune response: Early results of a phase I/II clinical trial

Between 15-30% of HIV patients won’t increase T-cell counts even with viral suppression. When treated with viral suppressants and MSCs, these patients did not experience any significant increase in T-cell counts. For this reason the study was recommended for suspension.



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