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1.  Density-Dependent Metabolic Heterogeneity in Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells 
Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio)  2015;33(11):3368-3381.
Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are intrinsically heterogeneous and comprise subpopulations that differ in their proliferation, multi-potency, and functional properties, which are commonly demonstrated by culturing hMSCs at different plating densities. The objective of this study was to investigate the metabolic profiles of different subpopulations of hMSC by testing the hypothesis that the clonogenic hMSC subpopulation, which is selectively enriched in clonal density (CD) and low density (LD) culture (10 and 100 cells per square centimeter, respectively), possesses a metabolic phenotype that differs from that of hMSC in medium- or high-density (MD: 1,000 and HD: 3,000 cells per square centimeter, respectively). Cells at CD and LD conditions exhibited elevated expression of CD146 and colony forming unit-fibroblast compared with cells at MD- or HD. Global metabolic profiles revealed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry of cell extracts showed clear distinction between LD and HD cultures, and density-dependent differences in coupling of glycolysis to the TCA cycle. Metabolic inhibitors revealed density-dependent differences in glycolysis versus oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) for ATP generation, in glutamine metabolism, in the dependence on the pentose phosphate pathway for maintaining cellular redox state, and sensitivity to exogenous reactive oxygen species. We also show that active OXPHOS is not required for proliferation in LD culture but that OXPHOS activity increases senescence in HD culture. Together, the results revealed heterogeneity in hMSC culture exists at the level of primary metabolism. The unique metabolic characteristics of the clonogenic subpopulation suggest a novel approach for optimizing in vitro expansion of hMSCs.
PMCID: PMC4757908  PMID: 26274841
Mesenchymal stem cells; Cellular proliferation; Hypoxia; Cellular therapy
2.  Pervasive supply of therapeutic lysosomal enzymes in the CNS of normal and Krabbe‐affected non‐human primates by intracerebral lentiviral gene therapy 
EMBO Molecular Medicine  2016;8(5):489-510.
Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) and globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD or Krabbe disease) are severe neurodegenerative lysosomal storage diseases (LSD) caused by arylsulfatase A (ARSA) and galactosylceramidase (GALC) deficiency, respectively. Our previous studies established lentiviral gene therapy (GT) as a rapid and effective intervention to provide pervasive supply of therapeutic lysosomal enzymes in CNS tissues of MLD and GLD mice. Here, we investigated whether this strategy is similarly effective in juvenile non‐human primates (NHP). To provide proof of principle for tolerability and biological efficacy of the strategy, we established a comprehensive study in normal NHP delivering a clinically relevant lentiviral vector encoding for the human ARSA transgene. Then, we injected a lentiviral vector coding for the human GALC transgene in Krabbe‐affected rhesus macaques, evaluating for the first time the therapeutic potential of lentiviral GT in this unique LSD model. We showed favorable safety profile and consistent pattern of LV transduction and enzyme biodistribution in the two models, supporting the robustness of the proposed GT platform. We documented moderate inflammation at the injection sites, mild immune response to vector particles in few treated animals, no indication of immune response against transgenic products, and no molecular evidence of insertional genotoxicity. Efficient gene transfer in neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes close to the injection sites resulted in robust production and extensive spreading of transgenic enzymes in the whole CNS and in CSF, leading to supraphysiological ARSA activity in normal NHP and close to physiological GALC activity in the Krabbe NHP, in which biological efficacy was associated with preliminary indication of therapeutic benefit. These results support the rationale for the clinical translation of intracerebral lentiviral GT to address CNS pathology in MLD, GLD, and other neurodegenerative LSD.
PMCID: PMC5128736  PMID: 27025653
brain; gene therapy; lentiviral vectors; leukodystrophy; non‐human primates; Genetics, Gene Therapy & Genetic Disease; Neuroscience
3.  Initial gene vector dosing for studying symptomatology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in non-human primates 
Journal of medical primatology  2015;44(2):66-75.
Most amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research has focused on mice, but there are distinct differences in the functional neuroanatomy of the corticospinal pathway in primates vs. rodents. A non-human primate model may be more sensitive and more predictive for therapeutic efficacy.
Rhesus macaques received recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV9) encoding either the ALS-related pathological protein TDP-43 or a green fluorescent protein (GFP) control by intravenous administration. Motor function and electromyography were assessed over a nine-month expression interval followed by post-mortem analyses.
Recombinant TDP-43 or GFP was stably expressed long term. Although the TDP-43 subjects did not manifest severe paralysis and atrophy, there were trends of a partial disease state in the TDP-43 subjects relative to the control.
These data indicate that a higher gene vector dose will likely be necessary for more robust effects, yet augur that a relevant primate model is feasible.
PMCID: PMC4385002  PMID: 25639184
adeno-associated virus; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; frontotemporal lobar degeneration; gene therapy; gene transfer; TDP-43
4.  Stromal cells and stem cells in clinical bone regeneration 
Nature reviews. Endocrinology  2015;11(3):140-150.
Stem-cell-mediated bone repair has been used in clinical trials for the regeneration of large craniomaxillofacial defects, to slow the process of bone degeneration in patients with osteonecrosis of the femoral head and for prophylactic treatment of distal tibial fractures. Successful regenerative outcomes in these investigations have provided a solid foundation for wider use of stromal cells in skeletal repair therapy. However, employing stromal cells to facilitate or enhance bone repair is far from being adopted into clinical practice. Scientific, technical, practical and regulatory obstacles prevent the widespread therapeutic use of stromal cells. Ironically, one of the major challenges lies in the limited understanding of the mechanisms via which transplanted cells mediate regeneration. Animal models have been used to provide insight, but these models largely fail to reproduce the nuances of human diseases and bone defects. Consequently, the development of targeted approaches to optimize cell-mediated outcomes is difficult. In this Review, we highlight the successes and challenges reported in several clinical trials that involved the use of bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal or adipose-tissue-derived stromal cells. We identify several obstacles blocking the mainstream use of stromal cells to enhance skeletal repair and highlight technological innovations or areas in which novel techniques might be particularly fruitful in continuing to advance the field of skeletal regenerative medicine.
PMCID: PMC4338988  PMID: 25560703
5.  Bisphenol A enhances adipogenic differentiation of human adipose stromal/stem cells 
Exposure of humans to the endocrine disrupter bisphenol A (BPA) has been associated with increased weight and obesity. However, the mechanism(s) by which BPA increases adipose tissue in humans remains to be determined. The goal of this study was to determine the effects of BPA on adipogenesis of cultured human adipose stromal/stem cells (ASCs), precursors to mature adipocytes. ASCs from three donors were cultured for either 14 or 21 days in adipogenic differentiation media containing increasing concentrations of BPA (100 pM–10 μM). The extent of adipogenic differentiation in the ASCs was assessed by staining with Oil Red O to visualize adipogenic differentiation and then quantified by extraction and optical density measurement of the retained dye. BPA significantly enhanced adipogenesis at a concentration of 1 μM after 21 days of culture. Additionally, we found that BPA increased transcription of the estrogen receptor (ER (ESR1)) and that treatment with the ER antagonist ICI 182 780, blocked the effects of BPA, indicating that BPA may act via an ER-mediated pathway. The results of molecular analyses indicated that the expression of the adipogenesis-associated genes dual leucine zipper-bearing kinase (DLK (MAP3K12)), IGF1, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (C/EBPα (CEBPA)), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ (PPARG)), and lipoprotein lipase (LPL) was temporally accelerated and increased by BPA. In summary, these results indicate that BPA significantly enhances adipogenesis in ASCs through an ER-mediated pathway at physiologically relevant concentrations.
PMCID: PMC4757902  PMID: 25143472
adipose stromal/stem cell; bisphenol A (BPA); adipogenesis; estrogen receptor; endocrine disrupters
6.  Arginine vasopressin inhibits adipogenesis in human adipose-derived stem cells 
Intracellular Ca2+ signaling is important for stem cell differentiation and there is evidence it may coordinate the process. Arginine vasopressin (AVP) is a neuropeptide hormone secreted mostly from the posterior pituitary gland and increases Ca2+ signals mainly via V1 receptors. However, the role of AVP in adipogenesis of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) is unknown. In this study, we identified the V1a receptor gene in hASCs and demonstrated that AVP stimulation increased intracellular Ca2+ concentration during adipogenesis. This effect was mediated via V1a receptors, Gq-proteins and the PLC-IP3 pathway. These Ca2+ signals were due to endoplasmic reticulum release and influx from the extracellular space. Furthermore, AVP supplementation to the adipogenic medium decreased the number of adipocytes and adipocyte marker genes during differentiation. The effect of AVP on adipocyte formation was reversed by the V1a receptor blocker V2255. These findings suggested that AVP may function to inhibit adipocyte differentiation.
PMCID: PMC4752440  PMID: 25697345
Human adipose-derived stem cells; Arginine vasopressin; Ca2+ signalling; Differentiation
7.  Concise Review: The Obesity Cancer Paradigm: Exploration of the interactions and cross-talk between adipose stem cells and solid tumors 
Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio)  2015;33(2):318-326.
With the recognition of obesity as a global health crisis, researchers have devoted greater effort to defining and understanding the pathophysiological molecular pathways regulating the biology of adipose tissue and obesity. Obesity, the excessive accumulation of adipose tissue due to hyperplasia and hypertrophy, has been linked to an increased incidence and aggressiveness of colon, hematological, prostate, and postmenopausal breast cancer cancers. The increased morbidity and mortality of obesity-associated cancers has been attributed to higher levels of hormones, adipokines, and cytokines secreted by the adipose tissue. The increased amount of adipose tissue also results in higher numbers of adipose stromal/stem cells (ASCs). These ASCs have been shown to impact cancer progression directly through several mechanisms, including the increased recruitment of ASCs to the tumor site and increased production of cytokines and growth factors by ASCs and other cells within the tumor stroma. Emerging evidence indicates that obesity induces alterations in the biologic properties of ASCs, subsequently leading to enhanced tumorigenesis and metastasis of cancer cells. This review will discuss the links between obesity and cancer tumor progression, including obesity-associated changes in adipose tissue, inflammation, adipokines and chemokines. Novel topics will include a discussion of the contribution of ASCs to this complex system with an emphasis on their role in the tumor stroma. The reciprocal and circular feedback loop between obesity and ASCs as well as the mechanisms by which ASCs from obese patients alter the biology of cancer cells and enhance tumorigenesis will be discussed.
PMCID: PMC4337830  PMID: 25267443
8.  Obesity inhibits the osteogenic differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells 
Craniomaxillofacial defects secondary to trauma, tumor resection, or congenital malformations are frequent unmet challenges, due to suboptimal alloplastic options and limited autologous tissues such as bone. Significant advances have been made in the application of adipose-derived stem/stromal cells (ASCs) in the pre-clinical and clinical settings as a cell source for tissue engineering approaches. To fully realize the translational potential of ASCs, the identification of optimal donors for ASCs will ensure the successful implementation of these cells for tissue engineering approaches. In the current study, the impact of obesity on the osteogenic differentiation of ASCs was investigated.
ASCs isolated from lean donors (body mass index <25; lnASCs) and obese donors (body mass index >30; obASCs) were induced with osteogenic differentiation medium as monolayers in an estrogen-depleted culture system and on three-dimensional scaffolds. Critical size calvarial defects were generated in male nude mice and treated with scaffolds implanted with lnASCs or obASCs.
lnASCs demonstrated enhanced osteogenic differentiation in monolayer culture system, on three-dimensional scaffolds, and for the treatment of calvarial defects, whereas obASCs were unable to induce similar levels of osteogenic differentiation in vitro and in vivo. Gene expression analysis of lnASCs and obASCs during osteogenic differentiation demonstrated higher levels of osteogenic genes in lnASCs compared to obASCs.
Collectively, these results indicate that obesity reduces the osteogenic differentiation capacity of ASCs such that they may have a limited suitability as a cell source for tissue engineering.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12967-016-0776-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4730660  PMID: 26818763
ASCs; Adipose derived stromal/stem cells; Osteogenesis; Obesity; BMI
9.  Adipose Stromal Cells Repair Pressure Ulcers in Both Young and Elderly Mice: Potential Role of Adipogenesis in Skin Repair 
This study uses a murine model to address the hypothesis that adipose-derived stromal/stem cell (ASC) treatment would accelerate and enhance pressure ulcer repair. The results are consistent with clinical reports that fat grafting improved skin architecture in thermal injuries, thus setting the stage for clinical translation of autologous and/or allogeneic ASC treatment of pressure ulcers.
More than 2.5 million patients in the U.S. require treatment for pressure ulcers annually, and the elderly are at particularly high risk for pressure ulcer development. Current therapy for pressure ulcers consists of conservative medical management for shallow lesions and aggressive debridement and surgery for deeper lesions. The current study uses a murine model to address the hypothesis that adipose-derived stromal/stem cell (ASC) treatment would accelerate and enhance pressure ulcer repair. The dorsal skin of both young (2 months old [mo]) and old (20 mo) C57BL/6J female mice was sandwiched between external magnets for 12 hours over 2 consecutive days to initiate a pressure ulcer. One day following the induction, mice were injected with ASCs isolated from congenic mice transgenic for the green fluorescent protein under a ubiquitous promoter. Relative to phosphate-buffered saline-treated controls, ASC-treated mice displayed a cell concentration-dependent acceleration of wound closure, improved epidermal/dermal architecture, increased adipogenesis, and reduced inflammatory cell infiltration. The ASC-induced improvements occurred in both young and elderly recipients, although the expression profile of angiogenic, immunomodulatory, and reparative mRNAs differed as a function of age. The results are consistent with clinical reports that fat grafting improved skin architecture in thermal injuries; the authors of this published study have invoked ASC-based mechanisms to account for their clinical outcomes. Thus, the current proof-of-principle study sets the stage for clinical translation of autologous and/or allogeneic ASC treatment of pressure ulcers.
Adipose-derived stromal/stem cells (ASCs) promote the healing of pressure ulcer wounds in both young and old mice. ASCs enhance wound healing rates through adipogenic differentiation and regeneration of the underlying architecture of the skin.
PMCID: PMC4449094  PMID: 25900728
Adipose; Adult stem cells; Mesenchymal stem cells; Stem cells; Stromal cells; Wound healing
10.  Maresin-like Lipid Mediators are produced by Leukocytes and Platelets and Rescue Reparative Function of Diabetes-impaired Macrophages 
Chemistry & biology  2014;21(10):1318-1329.
Non-healing diabetic wounds are associated with impaired macrophage (Mf) function. Leukocytes and platelets (PLT) play crucial roles in wound healing by poorly understood mechanisms. Here, we report identification and characterization of novel maresin-like(L) mediators 14,22-dihydroxy-docosa-4Z,7Z,10Z,12E,16Z,19Z-hexaenoic acids, 14S,22-diHDHA (maresin-L1) and 14R,22-diHDHA (maresin-L2) that are produced by leukocytes and PLT and involved in wound healing. We show that 12-lipoxygenase-initiated 14S-hydroxylation or cytochrome P450 catalyzed 14R-hydroxylation, and P450-initiated ω(22)-hydroxylation are required for maresin-Ls biosynthesis. Maresin-L treatment restores reparative functions to diabetic Mfs, suggesting that maresin-Ls act as autocrine/paracrine factors responsible for, at least in part, the reparative functions of leukocytes and PLT in wounds. Additionally, maresin-L ameliorates Mfs inflammatory activation and have the potential to suppress the chronic inflammation in diabetic wounds caused by activation of Mfs. These findings provide initial insights into maresin-L biosynthesis and mechanism of action, and potentially offer a therapeutic option for better treatment of diabetic wounds.
PMCID: PMC4224612  PMID: 25200603
11.  Leptin produced by obese adipose stromal/stem cells enhances proliferation and metastasis of estrogen receptor positive breast cancers 
The steady increase in the incidence of obesity among adults has been paralleled with higher levels of obesity-associated breast cancer. While recent studies have suggested that adipose stromal/stem cells (ASCs) isolated from obese women enhance tumorigenicity, the mechanism(s) by which this occurs remains undefined. Evidence suggests that increased adiposity results in increased leptin secretion from adipose tissue, which has been shown to increased cancer cell proliferation. Previously, our group demonstrated that ASCs isolated from obese women (obASCs) also express higher levels of leptin relative to ASCs isolated from lean women (lnASCs) and that this obASC-derived leptin may account for enhanced breast cancer cell growth. The current study investigates the impact of inhibiting leptin expression in lnASCs and obASCs on breast cancer cell (BCC) growth and progression.
Estrogen receptor positive (ER+) BCCs were co-cultured with leptin shRNA lnASCs or leptin shRNA obASCs and changes in the proliferation, migration, invasion, and gene expression of BCCs were investigated. To assess the direct impact of leptin inhibition in obASCs on BCC proliferation, MCF7 cells were injected alone or mixed with control shRNA obASCs or leptin shRNA obASCs into SCID/beige mice.
ER+ BCCs were responsive to obASCs during direct co-culture, whereas lnASCs were unable to increase ER+ BCC growth. shRNA silencing of leptin in obASCs negated the enhanced proliferative effects of obASC on BCCs following direct co-culture. BCCs co-cultured with obASCs demonstrated enhanced expression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis genes (SERPINE1, MMP-2, and IL-6), while BCCs co-cultured with leptin shRNA obASCs did not display similar levels of gene induction. Knockdown of leptin significantly reduced tumor volume and decreased the number of metastatic lesions to the lung and liver. These results correlated with reduced expression of both SERPINE1 and MMP-2 in tumors formed with MCF7 cells mixed with leptin shRNA obASCs, when compared to tumors formed with MCF7 cells mixed with control shRNA obASCs.
This study provides mechanistic insight as to how obesity enhances the proliferation and metastasis of breast cancer cells; specifically, obASC-derived leptin contributes to the aggressiveness of breast cancer in obese women.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13058-015-0622-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4541745  PMID: 26286584
12.  Analysis of the Pro- and Anti-Inflammatory Cytokines Secreted by Adult Stem Cells during Differentiation 
Stem Cells International  2015;2015:412467.
Adipose-derived stromal/stem cells (ASCs) are adult stem cells that have the potential to differentiate into mesenchymal lineage cells. The abundance of ASCs in adipose tissue and easy accessibility with relatively little donor site morbidity make them attractive candidate cells for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. However, the underlying inflammatory process that occurs during ASC differentiation into adipocytes and osteoblast has not been extensively investigated. ASCs cultured in osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation medium were characterized by oil red o staining and alizarin red staining, respectively. ASCs undergoing osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation were isolated on days 7, 14, and 21 and assessed by qRT-PCR for the expression of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. ASCs undergoing osteogenic differentiation expressed a distinct panel of cytokines that differed from the cytokine profile of ASCs undergoing adipogenic differentiation at each of the time points analyzed. Mapping the cytokine expression profile during ASC differentiation will provide insight into the role of inflammation in this process and identify potential targets that may aid in enhancing osteogenic or adipogenic differentiation for the purposes of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
PMCID: PMC4537750  PMID: 26300921
13.  Application of Adipose-Derived Stem Cells on Scleral Contact Lens Carrier in an Animal Model of Severe Acute Alkaline Burn 
Eye & contact lens  2014;40(4):243-247.
To evaluate the therapeutic effect of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) overlaid on a scleral contact lens (SCL) carrier in a rabbit model of ocular alkaline burn.
Materials and Methods
After inducing alkaline burn in 11 New Zealand white rabbits, hASCs cultured on SCLs were placed on the right eye of 5 rabbits, SCLs without cells were used in 5, and no treatment was applied in 1 eye. Each eye was examined and photographed for corneal vascularization, opacities, and epithelial defect in week 1, 2, and 4 after surgery. After 1 month, rabbits were killed and the corneas were removed and cut in half for electron and light microscopy examination.
Human adipose-derived stem cells were attached to SCL surface and confluent easily. Human adipose-derived stem cells on SCL eyes showed smaller epithelial defect, less corneal opacity, corneal neovascularization relative to SCL eyes. Both groups showed no symblepharon. However, the cornea in the untreated eye was melted in 2 weeks and developed severe symblepharon.
Human adipose-derived stem cells on SCL can reduce inflammation and corneal haziness in severe ocular alkaline burn injury in rabbits.
PMCID: PMC4365910  PMID: 24901976
Limbal stem cell deficiency; Adipose-derived stem cell; scleral contact lens; alkaline burn
14.  Interleukin 6 Mediates the Therapeutic Effects of Adipose-Derived Stromal/Stem Cells in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Acute Lung Injury 
Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio)  2014;32(6):1616-1628.
Adipose-derived stromal/stem cells (ASCs) have anti-inflammatory as well as immunosuppressive activities and are currently the focus of clinical trials for a number of inflammatory diseases. Acute lung injury (ALI) is an inflammatory condition of the lung for which standard treatment is mainly supportive due to lack of effective therapies. Our recent studies have demonstrated the ability of both human ASCs (hASCs) and mouse ASCs (mASCs) to attenuate lung damage and inflammation in a rodent model of lipopolysaccharide-induced ALI, suggesting that ASCs may also be beneficial in treating ALI. To better understand how ASCs may act in ALI and to elucidate the mechanism(s) involved in ASC modulation of lung inflammation, gene expression analysis was performed in ASC-treated (hASCs or mASCs) and control sham-treated lungs. The results revealed a dramatic difference between the expression of anti-inflammatory molecules by hASCs and mASCs. These data show that the beneficial effects of hASCs and mASCs in ALI may result from the production of different paracrine factors. Interleukin 6 (IL-6) expression in the mASC-treated lungs was significantly elevated as compared to sham-treated controls 20 hours after delivery of the cells by oropharyngeal aspiration. Knockdown of IL-6 expression in mASCs by RNA interference abrogated most of their therapeutic effects, suggesting that the anti-inflammatory properties of mASCs in ALI are explained, at least in part, by activation of IL-6 secretion.
PMCID: PMC4365913  PMID: 24449042
Adipose-derived stromal/stem cell; Acute lung injury; Interleukin 6; Mouse
15.  Hypertensive Rat Lungs Retain Hallmarks of Vascular Disease upon Decellularization but Support the Growth of Mesenchymal Stem Cells 
Tissue Engineering. Part A  2014;20(9-10):1426-1443.
There are an insufficient number of donor organs available to meet the demand for lung transplantation. This issue could be addressed by regenerating functional tissue from diseased or damaged lungs that would otherwise be deemed unsuitable for transplant. Detergent-mediated whole-lung decellularization produces a three-dimensional natural scaffold that can be repopulated with various cell types. In this study, we investigated the decellularization and initial recellularization of diseased lungs using a rat model of monocrotaline-induced pulmonary hypertension (MCT-PHT). Decellularization of control and MCT-PHT Sprague-Dawley rat lungs was accomplished by treating the lungs with a combination of Triton X-100, sodium deoxycholate, NaCl, and DNase. The resulting acellular matrices were characterized by DNA quantification, Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, and proteomic analyses revealing that decellularization was able to remove cells while leaving the extracellular matrix (ECM) components and lung ultrastructure intact. Decellularization significantly reduced DNA content (∼30-fold in MCT-PHT lungs and ∼50-fold in the control lungs) and enriched ECM components (>60-fold in both the control and MCT-PHT lungs) while depleting cellular proteins. MicroCT visualization of MCT-PHT rat lungs indicated that the vasculature was narrowed as a result of MCT treatment, and this characteristic was unchanged by decellularization. Mean arterial vessel diameter of representative decellularized MCT-PHT and control scaffolds was estimated to be 0.152±0.134 mm and 0.247±0.160 mm, respectively. Decellularized MCT-PHT lung scaffolds supported attachment and survival of rat adipose-derived stem cells (rASCs), seeded into the airspace or the vasculature, for at least 2 weeks. The cells seeded in MCT-PHT lung scaffolds proliferated and underwent apoptosis similar to control scaffolds; however, the initial percentage of apoptotic cells was slightly higher in MCT-PHT lungs (2.79±2.03% vs. 1.05±1.02% of airway-seeded rASCs, and 4.47±1.21% vs. 2.66±0.10% of vascular seeded rASCs). The ECM of cell-seeded scaffolds showed no signs of degradation by the cells after 14 days in culture. These data suggest that diseased hypertensive lungs can be efficiently decellularized similar to control lungs and have the potential to be recellularized with mesenchymal stem cells with the ultimate goal of generating healthy, functional pulmonary tissue.
PMCID: PMC4011420  PMID: 24378017
16.  Characterization of a Murine Pressure Ulcer Model to Assess Efficacy of Adipose-derived Stromal Cells 
Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text.
As the world’s population lives longer, the number of individuals at risk for pressure ulcers will increase considerably in the coming decades. In developed countries, up to 18% of nursing home residents suffer from pressure ulcers and the resulting hospital costs can account for up to 4% of a nation’s health care budget. Although full-thickness surgical skin wounds have been used as a model, preclinical rodent studies have demonstrated that repeated cycles of ischemia and reperfusion created by exposure to magnets most closely mimic the human pressure ulcer condition.
This study uses in vivo and in vitro quantitative parameters to characterize the temporal kinetics and histology of pressure ulcers in young, female C57BL/6 mice exposed to 2 or 3 ischemia-reperfusion cycles. This pressure ulcer model was validated further in studies examining the efficacy of adipose-derived stromal/stem cell administration.
Optimal results were obtained with the 2-cycle model based on the wound size, histology, and gene expression profile of representative angiogenic and reparative messenger RNAs. When treated with adipose-derived stromal/stem cells, pressure ulcer wounds displayed a dose-dependent and significant acceleration in wound closure rates and improved tissue histology.
These findings document the utility of this simplified preclinical model for the evaluation of novel tissue engineering and medical approaches to treat pressure ulcers in humans.
PMCID: PMC4387156  PMID: 25878945
17.  Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Based Therapy in a Mouse Model of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) 
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a common neurodegenerative disease that presents after an auto-reactive immune response against constituents of the central nervous system. Demyelination, inflammation, and white matter lesions are all hallmarks of this disease. Clinical research supports the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as therapy for MS to ameliorate symptoms and pathology. MSCs can be isolated from multiple tissues, including adipose and bone marrow, and are able to migrate to sites of pathology, release anti-inflammatory factors, and provide immunomodulatory and neuroprotective effects once administered. Numerous studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of MSCs in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an induced model of MS. EAE can be induced in several species; however, the mouse is commonly used for therapeutic testing. In the following chapter, scientists will be able to learn how to prepare reagents and MSCs (e.g., isolate, culture, and expand) as well as skillfully execute induction of EAE in mice and administer stem cell-based treatments. Standard methods used to evaluate the disease progression and analyze postmortem tissues are also included.
PMCID: PMC4372385  PMID: 25173393
Multiple sclerosis; murine experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; EAE; T cell-mediate autoimmune disease; mesenchymal stem cells; myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein
18.  Age-related changes in mesenchymal stem cells derived from rhesus macaque bone marrow 
Aging cell  2011;10(1):66-79.
The regeneration potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) diminishes with advanced age and this diminished potential is associated with changes in cellular functions. This study compared MSCs isolated from the bone marrow of rhesus monkeys (rBMSCs) in three age groups: young (< 5 years), middle (8–10 years), and old (> 12 years). The effects of aging on stem cell properties and indicators of stem cell fitness such as proliferation, differentiation, circadian rhythms, stress response proteins, miRNA expression, and global histone modifications in rBMSCs were analyzed. rBMSCs demonstrated decreased capacities for proliferation and differentiation as a function of age. The production of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) and heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) were also reduced with increasing age. The level of a core circadian protein, Rev-erb α, was significantly increased in rBMSCs from old animals. Furthermore, analysis of miRNA expression profiles revealed an up-regulation of mir-766 and mir-558 and a down-regulation of mir-let-7f, mir-125b, mir-222, mir-199-3p, mir-23a, and mir-221 in old rBMSCs compare to young rBMSCs. However, there were no significant age-related changes in the global histone modification profiles of the four histone core proteins: H2A, H2B, H3, and H4 on rBMSCs. These changes represent novel insights into the aging process and could have implications regarding the potential for autologous stem cells therapy in older patients.
PMCID: PMC4339051  PMID: 20969724
aging; cell cycle; differentiation; mesenchymal stem cells; miRNA; non-human primate
19.  Design, Synthesis, and Osteogenic Activity of Daidzein Analogs on Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells 
ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters  2013;5(2):143-148.
Osteoporosis is caused by an overstimulation of osteoclast activity and the destruction of the bone extracellular matrix. Without the normal architecture, osteoblast cells are unable to rebuild phenotypically normal bone. Hormone replacement therapy with estrogen has been effective in increasing osteoblast activity but also has resulted in the increased incidence of breast and uterine cancer. In this study we designed and synthesized a series of daidzein analogs to investigate their osteogenic induction potentials. Human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from three different donors were treated with daidzein analogs and demonstrated enhanced osteogenesis when compared to daidzein treatment. The enhanced osteogenic potential of these daidzein analogs resulted in increased osterix (Sp7), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), osteopontin (OPN), and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which are osteogenic transcription factors that regulate the maturation of osteogenic progenitor cells into mature osteoblast cells.
PMCID: PMC4027770  PMID: 24900787
Daidzein analogs; mesenchymal stem cells; BMSCs; osteogenesis
20.  Effects of the Endocrine-Disrupting Chemical DDT on Self-Renewal and Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells 
Background: Although the global use of the endocrine-disrupting chemical DDT has decreased, its persistence in the environment has resulted in continued human exposure. Accumulating evidence suggests that DDT exposure has long-term adverse effects on development, yet the impact on growth and differentiation of adult stem cells remains unclear.
Objectives: Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) exposed to DDT were used to evaluate the impact on stem cell biology.
Methods: We assessed DDT-treated MSCs for self-renewal, proliferation, and differentiation potential. Whole genome RNA sequencing was performed to assess gene expression in DDT-treated MSCs.
Results: MSCs exposed to DDT formed fewer colonies, suggesting a reduction in self-renewal potential. DDT enhanced both adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation, which was confirmed by increased mRNA expression of glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4), lipoprotein lipase (LpL), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), leptin, osteonectin, core binding factor 1 (CBFA1), and FBJ murine osteosarcoma viral oncogene homolog (c-Fos). Expression of factors in DDT-treated cells was similar to that in estrogen-treated MSCs, suggesting that DDT may function via the estrogen receptor (ER)-mediated pathway. The coadministration of ICI 182,780 blocked the effects of DDT. RNA sequencing revealed 121 genes and noncoding RNAs to be differentially expressed in DDT-treated MSCs compared with controls cells.
Conclusion: Human MSCs provide a powerful biological system to investigate and identify the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of environmental agents on stem cells and human health. MSCs exposed to DDT demonstrated profound alterations in self-renewal, proliferation, differentiation, and gene expression, which may partially explain the homeostatic imbalance and increased cancer incidence among those exposed to long-term EDCs.
Citation: Strong AL, Shi Z, Strong MJ, Miller DF, Rusch DB, Buechlein AM, Flemington EK, McLachlan JA, Nephew KP, Burow ME, Bunnell BA. 2015. Effects of the endocrine-disrupting chemical DDT on self-renewal and differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells. Environ Health Perspect 123:42–48;
PMCID: PMC4286277  PMID: 25014179
21.  A Review of Cellularization Strategies for Tissue Engineering of Whole Organs 
With the advent of whole organ decellularization, extracellular matrix scaffolds suitable for organ engineering were generated from numerous tissues, including the heart, lung, liver, kidney, and pancreas, for use as alternatives to traditional organ transplantation. Biomedical researchers now face the challenge of adequately and efficiently recellularizing these organ scaffolds. Herein, an overview of whole organ decellularization and a thorough review of the current literature for whole organ recellularization are presented. The cell types, delivery methods, and bioreactors employed for recellularization are discussed along with commercial and clinical considerations, such as immunogenicity, biocompatibility, and Food and Drug Administartion regulation.
PMCID: PMC4378188  PMID: 25870857
tissue engineering; native scaffolds; cellularization; whole organs; matrices; recellularization; decellularization
22.  Administration of Murine Stromal Vascular Fraction Ameliorates Chronic Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis 
Stem Cells Translational Medicine  2013;2(10):789-796.
Murine stromal vascular fraction (SVF) cells were compared with culture-expanded adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) for the treatment of experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE) in mice. It was found that SVF cells effectively inhibited EAE disease progression more than culture-expanded ASCs did, suggesting that they might represent a valuable tool for stem cell-based therapy in chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system.
Administration of adipose-derived stromal/stem cells (ASCs) represents a promising therapeutic approach for autoimmune diseases since they have been shown to have immunomodulatory properties. The uncultured, nonexpanded counterpart of ASCs, the stromal vascular fraction (SVF), is composed of a heterogeneous mixture of cells. Although administration of ex vivo culture-expanded ASCs has been used to study immunomodulatory mechanisms in multiple models of autoimmune diseases, less is known about SVF-based therapy. The ability of murine SVF cells to treat myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein35–55-induced experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE) was compared with that of culture-expanded ASCs in C57Bl/6J mice. A total of 1 × 106 SVF cells or ASCs were administered intraperitoneally concomitantly with the induction of disease. The data indicate that intraperitoneal administration of ASCs significantly ameliorated the severity of disease course. They also demonstrate, for the first time, that the SVF effectively inhibited disease severity and was statistically more effective than ASCs. Both cell therapies also demonstrated a reduction in tissue damage, a decrease in inflammatory infiltrates, and a reduction in sera levels of interferon-γ and interleukin-12. Based on these data, SVF cells effectively inhibited EAE disease progression more than culture-expanded ASCs.
PMCID: PMC3785263  PMID: 23981726
Adipose; Adult stem cells; Tissue-specific stem cells; Stem cells; Neuroimmune
23.  Age of the Donor Reduces the Ability of Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells to Alleviate Symptoms in the Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Mouse Model 
Stem Cells Translational Medicine  2013;2(10):797-807.
In a mouse model, human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells from older donors failed to ameliorate the neurodegeneration associated with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, and mice treated with cells from older donors had increased central nervous system inflammation, demyelination, and splenocyte proliferation. The age-related therapeutic differences corroborate recent findings that biologic aging occurs in stem cells.
There is a significant clinical need for effective therapies for primary progressive multiple sclerosis, which presents later in life (i.e., older than 50 years) and has symptoms that increase in severity without remission. With autologous mesenchymal stem cell therapy now in the early phases of clinical trials for all forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), it is necessary to determine whether autologous stem cells from older donors have therapeutic effectiveness. In this study, the therapeutic efficacy of human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) from older donors was directly compared with that of cells from younger donors for disease prevention. Mice were induced with chronic experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) using the myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein35–55 peptide and treated before disease onset with ASCs derived from younger (<35 years) or older (>60 years) donors. ASCs from older donors failed to ameliorate the neurodegeneration associated with EAE, and mice treated with older donor cells had increased central nervous system inflammation, demyelination, and splenocyte proliferation in vitro compared with the mice receiving cells from younger donors. Therefore, the results of this study demonstrated that donor age significantly affects the ability of human ASCs to provide neuroprotection, immunomodulation, and/or remyelination in EAE mice. The age-related therapeutic differences corroborate recent findings that biologic aging occurs in stem cells, and the differences are supported by evidence in this study that older ASCs, compared with younger donor cells, secrete less hepatocyte growth factor and other bioactive molecules when stimulated in vitro. These results highlight the need for evaluation of autologous ASCs derived from older patients when used as therapy for MS.
PMCID: PMC3785264  PMID: 24018793
Mesenchymal stem cells; Experimental models; Cell transplantation; Adult stem cells; Aging; Multiple sclerosis; EAE; Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
24.  Cell-Surface Expression of Neuron-Glial Antigen 2 (NG2) and Melanoma Cell Adhesion Molecule (CD146) in Heterogeneous Cultures of Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells 
Tissue Engineering. Part A  2013;19(19-20):2253-2266.
Cellular heterogeneity of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) impedes their use in regenerative medicine. The objective of this research is to identify potential biomarkers for the enrichment of progenitors from heterogeneous MSC cultures. To this end, the present study examines variation in expression of neuron-glial antigen 2 (NG2) and melanoma cell adhesion molecule (CD146) on the surface of MSCs derived from human bone marrow in response to culture conditions and among cell populations. Multipotent cells isolated from heterogeneous MSC cultures exhibit a greater than three-fold increase in surface expression for NG2 and greater than two-fold increase for CD146 as compared with parental and lineage-committed MSCs. For both antigens, surface expression is downregulated by greater than or equal to six-fold when MSCs become confluent. During serial passage, maximum surface expression of NG2 and CD146 is associated with minimum doubling time. Upregulation of NG2 and CD146 during loss of adipogenic potential at early passage suggests some limits to their utility as potency markers. A potential relationship between proliferation and antigen expression was explored by sorting heterogeneous MSCs into rapidly and slowly dividing groups. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting revealed that rapidly dividing MSCs display lower scatter and 50% higher NG2 surface expression than slowly dividing cells, but CD146 expression is comparable in both groups. Heterogeneous MSCs were sorted based on scatter properties and surface expression of NG2 and CD146 into high (HI) and low (LO) groups. ScLONG2HI and ScLONG2HICD146HI MSCs have the highest proliferative potential of the sorted groups, with colony-forming efficiencies that are 1.5–2.2 times the value for the parental controls. The ScLO gate enriches for rapidly dividing cells. Addition of the NG2HI gate increases cell survival to 1.5 times the parental control. Further addition of the CD146HI gate does not significantly improve cell division or survival. The combination of low scatter and high NG2 surface expression is a promising selection criterion to enrich a proliferative phenotype from heterogeneous MSCs during ex vivo expansion, with potentially numerous applications.
PMCID: PMC3761443  PMID: 23611563
25.  Novel daidzein analogs enhance osteogenic activity of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and adipose-derived stromal/stem cells through estrogen receptor dependent and independent mechanisms 
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mineral density (BMD) and increased risk of fractures. Studies have demonstrated the use of phytoestrogens, or plant-derived estrogens, such as genistein and daidzein, to effectively increase osteogenic activity of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs). Herein, the effects of daidzein analogs on the osteogenic differentiation efficiency of human BMSC and adipose-derived stromal/stem cells (ASC) were explored.
BMSCs and ASCs underwent osteogenic differentiation in the presence of vehicle, 17β-estradiol (E2), phytoestrogens, or daidzein analogs. Cells were stained for alkaline phosphatase (ALP) enzymatic activity, calcium deposition by alizarin red s, and phosphate mineralization by silver nitrate. Gene expression analysis was conducted on cells treated with daidzein analogs.
Cells treated with E2, daidzein, or genistein increased calcium deposition by 1.6-, 1.5-, and 1.4-fold, respectively, relative to vehicle-treated BMSCs and 1.6-, 1.7-, and 1.4-fold relative to vehicle-treated ASCs, respectively. BMSCs treated with daidzein analog 2c, 2g, and 2l demonstrated a 1.6-, 1.6-, and 1.9-fold increase in calcium deposition relative to vehicle-treated BMSCs, respectively, while ASCs treated with daidzein analog 2c, 2g, or 2l demonstrated a 1.7-, 2.0-, and 2.2-fold increase in calcium deposition relative to vehicle-treated ASCs, respectively. Additional analysis with BMSCs and ASCs was conducted in the more efficient compounds: 2g and 2l. ALP activity and phosphate mineralization was increased in 2g- and 2l-treated cells. The analysis of lineage specific gene expression demonstrated increased expression of key osteogenic genes (RUNX2, c-FOS, SPARC, DLX5, SPP1, COL1A1, IGF1, SOST, and DMP1) and earlier induction of these lineage specific genes, following treatment with 2g or 2l, relative to vehicle-treated cells. Estrogen receptor (ER) inhibitor studies demonstrated that ER antagonist fulvestrant inhibited the osteogenic differentiation of 2g in BMSCs and ASCs, while fulvestrant only attenuated the effects of 2l, suggesting that 2l acts by both ER dependent and independent pathways.
These studies provide support for exploring the therapeutic efficacy of daidzein derivatives for the treatment of osteoporosis. Furthermore, the patterns of gene induction differed following treatment with each daidzein analog, suggesting that these daidzein analogs activate distinct ER and non-ER pathways to induce differentiation in BMSCs and ASCs.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/scrt493) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4355363  PMID: 25168698

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