Volume 8.28 | Jul 17

ESC & iPSC News 8.28 July 17, 2013
ESC & iPSC News
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Researchers Generate Long-Lasting Blood Vessels from Reprogrammed Human Cells
Researchers have used vascular precursor cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to generate, in an animal model, functional blood vessels that lasted as long as nine months. The investigators describe using iPSCs from both healthy adults and from individuals with type 1 diabetes to generate blood vessels on the outer surface of the brain or under the skin of mice. [Press release from Massachusetts General Hospital discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA] Press Release | Abstract | Full Article
Increase reproducibility between experiments using frozen primary cells. Learn more.
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Competitive Interactions Eliminate Unfit Embryonic Stem Cells at the Onset of Differentiation
Researchers showed that cell competition is a mechanism regulating the fitness of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). They found that ESCs displaying defective bone morphogenetic protein signaling or defective autophagy or that are tetraploid are eliminated at the onset of differentiation by wild-type cells. [Dev Cell] Abstract | Full Article | Graphical Abstract

Generation of Haploid Embryonic Stem Cells from Macaca fascicularis Monkey Parthenotes
Investigators report the derivation of haploid embryonic stem cells (haESCs) from parthenogenetic blastocysts of Macaca fascicularis monkeys. These cells, termed as PG-haESCs, are pluripotent and can differentiate to cells of three embryonic germ layers in vitro or in vivo. [Cell Res] Full Article

Self-Organized Vascular Networks from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells in a Synthetic Matrix
Researchers derived a bicellular vascular population from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) that undergoes morphogenesis and assembly in a synthetic matrix. They found that hPSCs can be induced to codifferentiate into early vascular cells (EVCs) in a clinically relevant strategy amenable to multiple hPSC lines. These EVCs can mature into endothelial cells and pericytes, and can self-organize to form microvascular networks in an engineered matrix. These engineered human vascular networks survive implantation, integrate with the host vasculature, and establish blood flow. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]
Abstract | Press Release

Generation of Eggs from Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Scientists described a stepwise protocol for the generation of eggs from mouse pluripotent stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. [Nat Protoc] Full Article

Tuning of β-Catenin Activity Is Required to Stabilize Self-Renewal of Rat Embryonic Stem Cells
The authors investigated the response of rat embryonic stem cells (ESCs) to β-catenin signaling and found that when maintained on feeder-support cells in the presence of a MEK inhibitor alone, the derivation efficiency, growth, karyotypic stability, transcriptional profile, and differentiation potential of rat ESC cultures was similar to that of cell lines established using both MEK and glycogen synthase kinase 3 inhibitors. [Stem Cells] Abstract

miR–290–295 Regulate Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation Propensities by Repressing Pax6
Researchers showed that microRNA (miR)–290–295 regulate the propensity of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) to acquire specific fates. They generated a new miR–290–295–null mESC model, which exhibit increased propensity to generate ectoderm, at the expense of endoderm and mesoderm lineages. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Blood Cell-Derived Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Free of Reprogramming Factors Generated by Sendai Viral Vectors
Using nonintegrating cytoplasmic Sendai viral vectors, researchers generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) efficiently from adult mobilized CD34+ and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Using the spin embryoid body method, they showed that these blood cell-derived iPSCs could efficiently be differentiated into hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells without the need of coculture with either mouse or human stromal cells. [Stem Cells Transl Med] Abstract | Press Release

Wnt/ß-Catenin Signaling Triggers Neuron Reprogramming and Regeneration in the Mouse Retina
Cell-fusion-mediated somatic-cell reprogramming can be induced in culture; however, whether this process occurs in mammalian tissues remains enigmatic. Researchers showed that upon activation of Wnt/ß-catenin signaling, mouse retinal neurons can be transiently reprogrammed in vivo back to a precursor stage. This occurs after their spontaneous fusion with transplanted hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Moreover, the authors demonstrated that retinal damage is essential for cell-hybrid formation in vivo. [Cell Rep]
Abstract | Full Article | Press Release | Graphical Abstract

Take the "if" out of "diff": Reduce variability when differentiating to hematopoietic cells
Mending Broken Hearts: Cardiac Development as a Basis for Adult Heart Regeneration and Repair
Heart function has been restored in rodents by reprogramming non-myocytes into cardiomyocytes, by expressing transcription factors (GATA4, HAND2, myocyte-specific enhancer factor 2C and T-box 5) and microRNAs (miR-1, miR-133, miR-208 and miR-499) that control cardiomyocyte identity. Stimulating cardiomyocyte dedifferentiation and proliferation by activating mitotic signaling pathways involved in embryonic heart growth represents a complementary approach for heart regeneration and repair. [Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol] Abstract

Mitochondrial Regulation in Pluripotent Stem Cells
While glycolytic energy production is observed at pluripotent states, an increase in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation is necessary for cell differentiation. Consequently, a transition from somatic mitochondrial oxidative metabolism to glycolysis seems to be required for successful reprogramming. Future research aiming to dissect the roles of mitochondria in the establishment and homeostasis of pluripotency, as well as combining cell reprogramming with gene editing technologies, may unearth novel insights into the understanding of mitochondrial diseases and aging. [Cell Metab] Abstract

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ACT Secures Approval from Data Safety Monitoring Board to Complete Third Patient Cohort in All Three Clinical Trials
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (ACT) announced that the Data and Safety Monitoring Board, an independent group of medical experts closely monitoring the company’s three ongoing clinical trials, has authorized the company to move forward with enrollment and treatment of remaining two patients in the third cohort of each of the three clinical trials. ACT will proceed with screening and enrollment for the patients who, in keeping with trial protocol, will be injected with 150,000 retinal pigment epithelial cells derived from human embryonic stem cells. [Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.] Press Release

ThermoGenesis and TotipotentRx Announce Definitive Merger Agreement
ThermoGenesis Corp. and TotipotentRx Corporation announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement. The combined company is expected to become one of the first fully integrated regenerative medicine companies, developing clinically validated, commercially scalable, point-of-care cell therapies for major therapeutic markets, including orthopedic, cardiovascular and neurologic indications. [ThermoGenesis Corp.] Press Release

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NSF Is on a Budget Roll
According to a final spending plan recently posted by the agency, the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s budget for the current fiscal year ending on 30 September is $149 million lower than in 2012. But that drop of 2.1%, to $6.884 billion, is less than half the 5% decline for the entire civilian government triggered by the sequestration mandated in the 2011 Budget Control Act. [National Science Foundation, United States]
Press Release

E.U. Commission Beefs Up Research Partnerships with Industry
The European Commission wants to double the amount of public money available for five research programs with industry, known as Joint Technology Initiatives. Together, they will receive €6.44 billion from the European Union budget between 2014 and 2020, up from €3.12 billion in 2007 to 2013, research commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn announced. The deal is part of the European Union’s new Innovation Investment Package. [European Commission, European Union] Press Release

Outcry Over Plans for ‘Japanese NIH’
Many people admire the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a model of how biomedical research should be funded. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has taken that admiration a step further than most, with a plan to copy the NIH’s structure. The plan, which came to light with the publication of two government strategies, one on economic growth and one on health care, would mimic the centralized control of the NIH by consolidating management of research money for a range of research institutes. But the plan also includes a goal to boost clinical applications, and many of the country’s life-sciences societies fear that the institute would not emulate the part of the NIH that they most admire: its commitment to basic research. [Prime Minister, Japan] Press Release

Senate Spending Panel Approves $31 Billion for NIH in 2014, Restoring Sequester Cuts
A Senate spending panel approved a bill giving the National Institutes of Health (NIH) $31 billion in 2014, a figure that would restore this year’s painful 5% cut from sequestration and give the agency a small increase over its 2012 budget. [National Institutes of Health, United States] Press Release  
NEW Stem Cell Society Singapore (SCSS) Symposium 2013
November 18-19, 2013
Singapore, Singapore

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NEW Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cell Biology (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital)

NEW Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes (University of California, Davis)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cell Therapy and Epigenetics of Retina (University of Pittsburgh, Ophthalmology)

Postdoctoral Position – Pluripotent Stem Cells to Islets (INSERM FRANCE)

Postdoctoral Fellowship – Organic Synthesis and Medicinal Chemistry (Masaryk University)

Director of Cell Processing Facility (S L Collins Associates, Inc.)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Cancer Immunology (Medical University of South Carolina)

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