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1.  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
2.  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
3.  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
4.  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
5.  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
6.  Multipotent stromal cells alleviate inflammation, neuropathology, and symptoms associated with globoid cell leukodystrophy in the twitcher mouse 
Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio)  2013;31(8):1523-1534.
Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD) is a common neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorder caused by a deficiency in galactocerebrosidase (GALC), an enzyme that cleaves galactocerebroside during myelination. Bone marrow transplantation has shown promise when administered to late-onset GLD patients. However, the side effects (e.g., graft versus host disease), harsh conditioning regimens (e.g., myelosuppression), and variable therapeutic effects make this an unsuitable option for infantile GLD patients. We previously reported modest improvements in the twitcher mouse model of GLD after intracerebroventricular (ICV) injections of a low dose of multipotent stromal cells (MSCs). Goals of this study were to improve bone marrow-derived MSC (BMSC) therapy for GLD by increasing the cell dosage and comparing cell type (e.g., transduced v. native), treatment timing (e.g., single v. weekly), and administration route (e.g., ICV v. intraperitoneal). Neonatal twitcher mice received (1) 2×105 BMSCs by ICV injection, (2) 1×106 BMSCs by intraperitoneal (IP) injection, (3) weekly IP injections of 1×106 BMSCs, or (4) 1×106 lentiviral-transduced BMSCs overexpressing GALC (GALC-BMSC) by IP injection. All treated mice lived longer than untreated mice. However, the mice receiving peripheral MSC therapy had improved motor function (e.g., hind limb strength and rearing ability), twitching symptoms, and weight compared to both the untreated and ICV-treated mice. Inflammatory cell, globoid cell, and apoptotic cell levels in the sciatic nerves were significantly decreased as a result of the GALC-BMSC or weekly IP injections. The results of this study indicate a promising future for peripheral MSC therapy as a non-invasive, adjunct therapy for patients affected with GLD.
PMCID: PMC3770764  PMID: 23606584
Globoid cell leukodystrophy; mesenchymal stem cells/multipotent stromal cells/MSCs; twitcher mouse; bone marrow-derived stem cells/BMSCs; stem cell transplantation
7.  Biologic Properties of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Derived From Bone Marrow and Adipose Tissue 
Journal of cellular biochemistry  2006;99(5):1285-1297.
The biologic characteristics of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) isolated from two distinct tissues, bone marrow and adipose tissue were evaluated in these studies. MSCs derived from human and non-human primate (rhesus monkey) tissue sources were compared. The data indicate that MSCs isolated from rhesus bone marrow (rBMSCs) and human adipose tissue (hASCs) had more similar biologic properties than MSCs of rhesus adipose tissue (rASCs) and human bone marrow MSCs (hBMSCs). Analyses of in vitro growth kinetics revealed shorter doubling time for rBMSCs and hASCs. rBMSCs and hASCs underwent significantly more population doublings than the other MSCs. MSCs from all sources showed a marked decrease in telomerase activity over extended culture; however, they maintained their mean telomere length. All of the MSCs expressed embryonic stem cell markers, Oct-4, Rex-1, and Sox-2 for at least 10 passages. Early populations of MSCs types showed similar multilineage differentiation capability. However, only the rBMSCs and hASCs retain greater differentiation efficiency at higher passages. Overall in vitro characterization of MSCs from these two species and tissue sources revealed a high level of common biologic properties. However, the results demonstrate clear biologic distinctions, as well.
PMCID: PMC4048742  PMID: 16795045
mesenchymal stem cells; bone marrow; adipose tissue; differentiation; telomerase; transcription factors
8.  Biological aging alters circadian mechanisms in murine adipose tissue depots 
Age  2012;35(3):533-547.
Biological aging alters the metabolism and volume of adipose tissue depots. Recent evidence suggests that circadian mechanisms play a role in promoting adipogenesis, obesity, and lipodystrophy. The current study compared cohorts of younger (5–9 months) and older (24–28 months) C57BL/6 mice as a function of biological age and circadian time. Advanced age significantly reduced the weight of the brown, epididymal, inguinal, and retroperitoneal adipose depots but not total body weight. The older mice reduced their physical activity by >50% and delayed their activity initiation after light offset. The expressed transcriptome in brown and white adipose depots and liver of both cohorts displayed evidence of circadian rhythmicity; however, the oscillating mRNAs differed significantly between age groups and across tissues. The amplitude of Cry1, a component of the negative arm of the circadian apparatus, and downstream regulators such as Rev-erbα were elevated in the older relative to the younger cohorts as a function of circadian time. Overall, transcript levels differed significantly for 557 (inguinal adipose), 1,016 (liver), and 1,021 (brown adipose) expressed sequences between the cohorts as a function of age. These included transcripts encoding proteins within the canonical and non-canonical Wnt pathways. Since the Wnt pathway regulates adipose stem cell differentiation and shares a critical enzyme, glycogen synthase kinase 3β, with the circadian mechanism, the intersection between these two fundamental regulatory mechanisms merits further investigation with respect to biological aging of adipose tissues.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11357-012-9389-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3636385  PMID: 22411258
Brown adipose; Circadian; Liver; Oscillation; Transcriptomics; White adipose
9.  Stromal cells from the adipose tissue-derived stromal vascular fraction and culture expanded adipose tissue-derived stromal/stem cells: a joint statement of the International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics (IFATS) and Science and the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) 
Cytotherapy  2013;15(6):641-648.
Background aims
Adipose tissue is a rich and very convenient source of cells for regenerative medicine therapeutic approaches. However, a characterization of the population of adipose-derived stromal and stem cells (ASCs) with the greatest therapeutic potential remains unclear. Under the authority of International Federation of Adipose Therapeutics and International Society for Cellular Therapy, this paper sets out to establish minimal definitions of stromal cells both as uncultured stromal vascular fraction (SVF) and as an adherent stromal/stem cells population.
Phenotypic and functional criteria for the identification of adipose-derived cells were drawn from the literature.
In the SVF, cells are identified phenotypically by the following markers: CD45-CD235a-CD31-CD34+. Added value may be provided by both a viability marker and the following surface antigens: CD13, CD73, CD90 and CD105. The fibroblastoid colony-forming unit assay permits the evaluation of progenitor frequency in the SVF population. In culture, ASCs retain markers in common with other mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs), including CD90, CD73, CD105, and CD44 and remain negative for CD45 and CD31. They can be distinguished from bone-marrow-derived MSCs by their positivity for CD36 and negativity for CD106. The CFU-F assay is recommended to calculate population doublings capacity of ASCs. The adipocytic, chondroblastic and osteoblastic differentiation assays serve to complete the cell identification and potency assessment in conjunction with a quantitative evaluation of the differentiation either biochemically or by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction.
The goal of this paper is to provide initial guidance for the scientific community working with adipose-derived cells and to facilitate development of international standards based on reproducible parameters.
PMCID: PMC3979435  PMID: 23570660
adipose-derived stromal/stem cells; adipose tissue; characterization; function; phenotype; stromal vascular fraction
10.  Doublecortin May Play a Role in Defining Chondrocyte Phenotype 
Embryonic development of articular cartilage has not been well understood and the role of doublecortin (DCX) in determination of chondrocyte phenotype is unknown. Here, we use a DCX promoter-driven eGFP reporter mouse model to study the dynamic gene expression profiles in mouse embryonic handplates at E12.5 to E13.5 when the condensed mesenchymal cells differentiate into either endochondral chondrocytes or joint interzone cells. Illumina microarray analysis identified a variety of genes that were expressed differentially in the different regions of mouse handplate. The unique expression patterns of many genes were revealed. Cytl1 and 3110032G18RIK were highly expressed in the proximal region of E12.5 handplate and the carpal region of E13.5 handplate, whereas Olfr538, Kctd15, and Cited1 were highly expressed in the distal region of E12.5 and the metacarpal region of E13.5 handplates. There was an increasing gradient of Hrc expression in the proximal to distal direction in E13.5 handplate. Furthermore, when human DCX protein was expressed in human adipose stem cells, collagen II was decreased while aggrecan, matrilin 2, and GDF5 were increased during the 14-day pellet culture. These findings suggest that DCX may play a role in defining chondrocyte phenotype.
PMCID: PMC4013671  PMID: 24758934
articular cartilage; chondrocytes; doublecortin; DCX
11.  Transplantation of Autologous Adipose Stem Cells Lacks Therapeutic Efficacy in the Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Model 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85007.
Multiple sclerosis (MS), characterized by chronic inflammation, demyelination, and axonal damage, is a complicated neurological disease of the human central nervous system. Recent interest in adipose stromal/stem cell (ASCs) for the treatment of CNS diseases has promoted further investigation in order to identify the most suitable ASCs. To investigate whether MS affects the biologic properties of ASCs and whether autologous ASCs from MS-affected sources could serve as an effective source for stem cell therapy, cells were isolated from subcutaneous inguinal fat pads of mice with established experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a murine model of MS. ASCs from EAE mice and their syngeneic wild-type mice were cultured, expanded, and characterized for their cell morphology, surface antigen expression, osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation, colony forming units, and inflammatory cytokine and chemokine levels in vitro. Furthermore, the therapeutic efficacy of the cells was assessed in vivo by transplantation into EAE mice. The results indicated that the ASCs from EAE mice displayed a normal phenotype, typical MSC surface antigen expression, and in vitro osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation capacity, while their osteogenic differentiation capacity was reduced in comparison with their unafflicted control mice. The ASCs from EAE mice also demonstrated increased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, specifically an elevation in the expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and keratin chemoattractant. In vivo, infusion of wild type ASCs significantly ameliorate the disease course, autoimmune mediated demyelination and cell infiltration through the regulation of the inflammatory responses, however, mice treated with autologous ASCs showed no therapeutic improvement on the disease progression.
PMCID: PMC3897387  PMID: 24465465
12.  Comparison of human adult stem cells from adipose tissue and bone marrow in the treatment of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis 
While administration of ex vivo culture-expanded stem cells has been used to study immunosuppressive mechanisms in multiple models of autoimmune diseases, less is known about the uncultured, nonexpanded stromal vascular fraction (SVF)-based therapy. The SVF is composed of a heterogeneous population of cells and has been used clinically to treat acute and chronic diseases, alleviating symptoms in a range of tissues and organs.
In this study, the ability of human SVF cells was compared with culture-expanded adipose stem cells (ASCs) and bone-derived marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) as a treatment of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (35–55)-induced experimental autoimmune encephalitis in C57Bl/6J mice, a well-studied multiple sclerosis model (MS). A total of 1 × 106 BMSCs, ASCs, or SVF cells were administered intraperitoneally concomitantly with the induction of disease. Mice were monitored daily for clinical signs of disease by three independent, blinded investigators and rated on a scale of 0 to 5. Spinal cords were obtained after euthanasia at day 30 and processed for histological staining using luxol fast blue, toluidine blue, and hematoxylin and eosin to measure myelin and infiltrating immune cells. Blood was collected from mice at day 30 and analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to measure serum levels of inflammatory cytokines.
The data indicate that intraperitoneal administration of all cell types significantly ameliorates the severity of disease. Furthermore, the data also demonstrate, for the first time, that the SVF was as effective as the more commonly cultured BMSCs and ASCs in an MS model. All cell therapies also demonstrated a similar reduction in tissue damage, inflammatory infiltrates, and sera levels of IFNγ and IL-12. While IFNγ levels were reduced to comparable levels between treatment groups, levels of IL-12 were significantly lower in SVF-treated than BMSC-treated or ASC-treated mice.
Based on these data, it is evident that SVF cells have relevant therapeutic potential in an animal model of chronic MS and might represent a valuable tool for stem cell-based therapy in chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. SVF offers advantages of direct and rapid isolation procedure in a xenobiotic-free environment.
PMCID: PMC4054950  PMID: 24405805
13.  High-throughput screening of stem cell therapy for globoid cell leukodystrophy using automated neurophenotyping of twitcher mice 
Behavioural brain research  2012;236(1):35-47.
Globoid cell leukodystrophy (Krabbe’s disease) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder that results from the deficiency of galactosylceramidase, a lysosomal enzyme involved in active myelination. Due to the progressive, lethal nature of this disease and the limited treatment options available, multiple laboratories are currently exploring novel therapies using the mouse model of globoid cell leukodystrophy. In order to establish a protocol for motor function assessment of the twitcher mouse, this study tested the capability of an automated system to detect phenotypic differences across mouse genotypes and/or treatment groups. The sensitivity of this system as a screening tool for the assessment of therapeutic interventions was determined by the administration of murine bone marrow-derived stem cells into twitcher mice via intraperitoneal injection. Animal behavior was analyzed using the Noldus EthoVision XT7 software. Novel biomarkers, including abnormal locomotion (e.g., velocity, moving duration, distance traveled, turn angle) and observed behaviors (e.g., rearing activity, number of defecation boli), were established for the twitcher mouse. These parameters were monitored across all mouse groups, and the automated system detected improved locomotion in the treated twitcher mice based on the correction of angular velocity, turn angle, moving duration, and exploratory behavior, such as thigmotaxis. Further supporting these findings, the treated mice showed improved lifespan, gait, wire hang ability, twitching severity and frequency, and sciatic nerve histopathology. Taken together, these data demonstrate the utility of computer-based neurophenotyping for motor function assessment of twitcher mice and support its utility for detecting the efficacy of stem cell-based therapy for neurodegenerative disorders.
PMCID: PMC3482265  PMID: 22951180
Globoid cell leukodystrophy; Noldus Technology; EthoVision XT7; behavioral phenotype; twitcher mouse; mesenchymal stem/stromal cells
14.  A Nonhuman Primate Model of Lung Regeneration: Detergent-Mediated Decellularization and Initial In Vitro Recellularization with Mesenchymal Stem Cells 
Tissue Engineering. Part A  2012;18(23-24):2437-2452.
Currently, patients with end-stage lung disease are limited to lung transplantation as their only treatment option. Unfortunately, the lungs available for transplantation are few. Moreover, transplant recipients require life-long immune suppression to tolerate the transplanted lung. A promising alternative therapeutic strategy is decellularization of whole lungs, which permits the isolation of an intact scaffold comprised of innate extracellular matrix (ECM) that can theoretically be recellularized with autologous stem or progenitor cells to yield a functional lung. Nonhuman primates (NHP) provide a highly relevant preclinical model with which to assess the feasibility of recellularized lung scaffolds for human lung transplantation. Our laboratory has successfully accomplished lung decellularization and initial stem cell inoculation of the resulting ECM scaffold in an NHP model. Decellularization of normal adult rhesus macaque lungs as well as the biology of the resulting acellular matrix have been extensively characterized. Acellular NHP matrices retained the anatomical and ultrastructural properties of native lungs with minimal effect on the content, organization, and appearance of ECM components, including collagen types I and IV, laminin, fibronectin, and sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAG), due to decellularization. Proteomics analysis showed enrichment of ECM proteins in total tissue extracts due to the removal of cells and cellular proteins by decellularization. Cellular DNA was effectively removed after decellularization (∼92% reduction), and the remaining nuclear material was found to be highly disorganized, very-low-molecular-weight fragments. Both bone marrow- and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) attach to the decellularized lung matrix and can be maintained within this environment in vitro, suggesting that these cells may be promising candidates and useful tools for lung regeneration. Analysis of decellularized lung slice cultures to which MSC were seeded showed that the cells attached to the decellularized matrix, elongated, and proliferated in culture. Future investigations will focus on optimizing the recellularization of NHP lung scaffolds toward the goal of regenerating pulmonary tissue. Bringing this technology to eventual human clinical application will provide patients with an alternative therapeutic strategy as well as significantly reduce the demand for transplantable organs and patient wait-list time.
PMCID: PMC3501118  PMID: 22764775
15.  Obesity associated alterations in the biology of adipose stem cells mediate enhanced tumorigenesis by estrogen dependent pathways 
Breast Cancer Research : BCR  2013;15(5):R102.
Obesity has been associated with increased incidence and mortality of breast cancer. While the precise correlation between obesity and breast cancer remains to be determined, recent studies suggest that adipose tissue and adipose stem cells (ASCs) influence breast cancer tumorigenesis and tumor progression.
Breast cancer cells lines were co-cultured with ASCs (n = 24), categorized based on tissue site of origin and body mass index (BMI), and assessed for enhanced proliferation, alterations in gene expression profile with PCR arrays, and enhanced tumorigenesis in immunocompromised mice. The gene expression profile of ASCs was assess with PCR arrays and qRT-PCR and confirmed with Western blot analysis. Inhibitory studies were conducted by delivering estrogen antagonist ICI182,780, leptin neutralizing antibody, or aromatase inhibitor letrozole and assessing breast cancer cell proliferation. To assess the role of leptin in human breast cancers, Oncomine and Kaplan Meier plot analyses were conducted.
ASCs derived from the abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue of obese subjects (BMI > 30) enhanced breast cancer cell proliferation in vitro and tumorigenicity in vivo. These findings were correlated with changes in the gene expression profile of breast cancer cells after co-culturing with ASCs, particularly in estrogen receptor-alpha (ESR1) and progesterone receptor (PGR) expression. Analysis of the gene expression profile of the four groups of ASCs revealed obesity induced alterations in several key genes, including leptin (LEP). Blocking estrogen signaling with ICI182,780, leptin neutralizing antibody, or letrozole diminished the impact of ASCs derived from obese subjects. Women diagnosed with estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor positive (ER+/PR+) breast cancers that also expressed high levels of leptin had poorer prognosis than women with low leptin expression.
ASCs isolated from the abdomen of obese subjects demonstrated increased expression of leptin, through estrogen stimulation, which increased breast cancer cell proliferation. The results from this study demonstrate that abdominal obesity induces significant changes in the biological properties of ASCs and that these alterations enhance ER+/PR+ breast cancer tumorigenesis through estrogen dependent pathways.
PMCID: PMC3978929  PMID: 24176089
16.  Differentiation of Human Adipose-derived Stem Cells along the Keratocyte Lineage In vitro 
To evaluate differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) to the keratocyte lineage by co-culture with primary keratocytes in vitro.
Materials and Methods
A co-culture system using transwell inserts to grow hASCs on bottom and keratocytes on top in keratocyte differentiating medium (KDM) was developed. hASCs that were cultured in complete culture medium (CCM) and KDM were used as control. After 16 days, hASCs were examined for morphologic changes and proliferation by cell count. qRT-PCR and flow cytometry were used to detect the expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase 3 family, member A1 (ALDH3A1) and keratocan.
hASCs became more dendritic and elongated in co-culture system relative to CCM and KDM. The doubling time of the cells was longer as differentiation progressed. qRT-PCR showed a definite trend towards increased expression of both ALDH3A1 and keratocan in co-culture system despite statistically non-significant p-values. Flow cytometry showed significantly increased protein levels of ALDH3A1 and keratocan in co-culture system relative to CCM group (p < 0.001) and even relative to KDM group (p < 0.001 for ALDH3A1 and p < 0.01 for keratocan).
The co-culture method is a promising approach to induce differentiation of stem cell populations prior to in vivo applications. This study reveals an important potential for bioengineering of corneal tissue using autologous multi-potential stem cells.
PMCID: PMC3737075  PMID: 23936748
Human adipose-derived stem cells; Co-culture system; Keratocyte; Bioengineered cornea
17.  Adipose-derived stromal/stem cells 
Organogenesis  2013;9(1):3-10.
Until recently, the complexity of adipose tissue and its physiological role was not well appreciated. This changed with the discovery of adipokines such as leptin. The cellular composition of adipose tissue is heterogeneous and changes as a function of diabetes and disease states such as diabetes. Tissue engineers view adipose tissue as a rich source of adult stromal/stem cells isolated by collagenase digestion. In vitro and in vivo studies have documented that adipose stromal/stem cells are multipotent, with the ability to differentiate along the adipocyte, chondrocyte, osteoblast and other lineage pathways. The adipose stromal/stem cells secrete a wide range of cytokines and growth factors with potential paracrine actions. Furthermore, adipose stromal/stem cells exert immunomodulatory functions when added to mixed lymphocyte reactions, suggesting that they can be transplanted allogeneically. This review article focuses on these mechanisms of adipose stromal/stem cell action and their potential utility as cellular therapeutics.
PMCID: PMC3674038  PMID: 23538753
Adipokine, Adipose Stromal/stem Cells; Experimental Autoimmune Encephalitis; Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cell; Mesenchymal Stem Cell or Multipotent Stromal Cell; Progressive Osseous Heteroplasia
18.  Adipose-derived Stem Cells: Isolation, Expansion and Differentiation 
Methods (San Diego, Calif.)  2008;45(2):115-120.
The emerging field of regenerative medicine will require a reliable source of stem cells in addition to biomaterial scaffolds and cytokine growth factors. Adipose tissue has proven to serve as an abundant, accessible and rich source of adult stem cells with multipotent properties suitable for tissue engineering and regenerative medical applications. There has been increased interest in Adipose-derived Stem Cells (ASCs) for tissue engineering applications. Here, methods for the isolation, expansion and differentiation of ASCs are presented and described in detail. While this article has focused on the isolation of ASCs from human adipose tissue, the procedure can be applied to adipose tissues from other species with minimal modifications.
PMCID: PMC3668445  PMID: 18593609
Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs); Biopsy; Differentiation; Expansion; Isolation; Lipoaspirate; Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs)
19.  Characterization of adipose-derived stromal/stem cells from the twitcher mouse model of krabbe disease 
BMC Cell Biology  2013;14:20.
Krabbe disease, also known as globoid cell leukodystrophy, is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease caused by the genetic deficiency of galactocerebrosidase (GALC), a lysosomal enzyme responsible for the degradation of several glycosphingolipids like psychosine and galactosylceramide. In order to investigate whether GALC deficiency in Krabbe disease affects adipose-derived stromal/stem cell (ASC) properties and if the ASCs could be used as a source of autologous stem cell therapy for patients with Krabbe disease, ASCs isolated from subcutaneous adipose tissue of Twitcher mice (a murine model of Krabbe disease) and their normal wild type littermates were cultured, expanded, and characterized for their cell morphology, surface antigen expression, osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation, colony forming units, growth kinetics, and immune regulatory capacities in vitro.
ASCs from Twitcher mice (TwiASCs), when compared to ASCs from normal mice (WtASCs), have a reduced osteogenic differentiation potential, have less self-replicating and proliferative capacity, although they have the same fibroblast morphologies and cell sizes. However, surprisingly, the TwiASCs demonstrated similar immune-suppressive capacities as their counterparts WtASCs did when they were transwell co-cultured with macrophages in vitro.
This study reveals that Twitcher ASCs exhibit differences in the biologic potential when compared to their counterparts from normal mice. The changes in Twitcher ASCs may be influenced by the GALC deficiency in Twitcher mice. Nevertheless, none of the changes preclude the use of the TwiASCs for autologous applications.
PMCID: PMC3662570  PMID: 23590629
Adipose stem cells; ASCs; Krabbe disease; Twitcher mice; Autologous transplantation
20.  Comparison of the therapeutic effects of human and mouse adipose-derived stem cells in a murine model of lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury 
Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) have emerged as important regulators of inflammatory/immune responses in vitro and in vivo and represent attractive candidates for cell-based therapies for diseases that involve excessive inflammation. Acute lung injury (ALI) is an inflammatory condition for which treatment is mainly supportive due to lack of effective therapies. In this study, the therapeutic effects of ASC-based therapy were assessed in vivo by comparison of the anti-inflammatory properties of both human and murine ASCs in a mouse model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced ALI.
Human ASCs (hASCs) or mouse ASCs (mASCs) were delivered to C57Bl/6 mice (7.5 × 105 total cells/mouse) by oropharyngeal aspiration (OA) four hours after the animals were challenged with lipopolysaccharide (15 mg/kg). Mice were sacrificed 24 and 72 hours after LPS exposure, and lung histology examined for evaluation of inflammation and injury. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was analyzed to determine total and differential cell counts, total protein and albumin concentrations, and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity. Cytokine expression in the injured lungs was measured at the steady-state mRNA levels and protein levels for assessment of the degree of lung inflammation.
Both human and mouse ASC treatments provided protective anti-inflammatory responses. There were decreased levels of leukocyte (for example neutrophil) migration into the alveoli, total protein and albumin concentrations in BALF, and MPO activity after the induction of ALI following both therapies. Additionally, cell therapy with both cell types effectively suppressed the expression of proinflammatory cytokines and increased the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 10 (IL-10). Overall, the syngeneic mASC therapy had a more potent therapeutic effect than the xenogeneic hASC therapy in this model.
Treatment with hASCs or mASCs significantly attenuated LPS-induced acute lung injury in mice. These results suggest a potential benefit for using an ASC-based therapy to treat clinical ALI and may possibly prevent the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
PMCID: PMC3706907  PMID: 23360775
21.  Human adipose-derived cells: an update on the transition to clinical translation 
Regenerative Medicine  2012;7(2):225-235.
The pace of discovery involving adipose-derived cells continues to accelerate at both the preclinical and clinical translational levels. Adipose tissue is a source of freshly isolated, heterogeneous stromal vascular fraction cells and culture-expanded, adherent and relatively homogeneous adipose stromal/stem cells. Both populations display regenerative capacity in soft and hard tissue repair, ischemic insults and autoimmune diseases. While their major mechanism of action has been attributed to both direct lineage differentiation and/or paracrine factor release, current evidence favors a paracrine mechanism. Over 40 clinical trials using adipose-derived cells conducted in 15 countries have been registered with the NIH, the majority of which are Phase I or Phase I/II safety studies. This review focuses on the literature of the past 2 years in order to assess the status of clinical and preclinical studies on adipose-derived cell therapies for regenerative medicine.
PMCID: PMC3321837  PMID: 22397611
adipose; adipose stromal/stem cell; autoimmune; bone repair; clinical translation; cosmetic surgery; ischemic injury; myocardial infarction; stromal vascular fraction
22.  Effect of Intrastriatal Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Injection on Progression of a Murine Model of Krabbe Disease 
Behavioural brain research  2011;225(2):415-425.
One of a family of devastating lysosomal storage disorders, Krabbe disease is characterized by demyelination, psychosine accumulation, and inflammation. Affected infants rarely survive longer than two years. Using the twitcher mouse model of the disease, this study evaluated the potential of intrastriatal injection of adipose or bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) as a treatment option. Neonatal pups were injected with MSCs at 3–4 days of age and subjected to a battery of behavioral tests beginning at 15 days. While MSC injection failed to increase lifespan of twitchers, improvements in rotarod performance and twitching severity were observed at 27–38 days of age using MSCs derived from bone marrow. This study tested several different tasks developed in adult mice for evaluation of disease progression in immature twitchers. Rotarod was both reliable and extremely sensitive. Automated gait analysis using the Treadscan program was also useful for early evaluation of differences prior to overt gait dysfunction. Finally, this study represents the first use of the Stone T-maze in immature mice. Validation of rotarod and automated gait analysis for detection of subtle differences in disease progression is important for early stage efforts to develop treatments for juvenile disorders.
PMCID: PMC3179783  PMID: 21840342
Krabbe disease; twitcher mice; mesenchymal stem/stromal cells; adipose-derived stem/stromal cells; gait analysis; motor function
23.  Selective Extraction and Effective Separation of Galactosylsphingosine (Psychosine) and Glucosylsphingosine from Other Glycosphingolipids in Pathological Tissue Samples 
Neurochemical Research  2010;36(9):1612-1622.
To facilitate the study of the chemical pathology of galactosylsphingosine (psychosine, GalSph) in Krabbe disease and glucosylsphingosine (GlcSph) in Gaucher disease, we have devised a facile method for the effective separation of these two glycosylsphingosines from other glycosphingolipids (GSLs) in Krabbe brain and Gaucher spleen samples. The procedure involves the use of acetone to selectively extract GalSph and GlcSph, respectively, from Krabbe brain and Gaucher spleen samples. Since acetone does not extract other GSLs except modest amounts of galactosylceramide, sulfatide, and glucosylceramide, the positively charged GalSph or GlcSph in the acetone extract can be readily separated from other GSLs by batchwise cation-exchange chromatography using a Waters Accell Plus CM Cartridge. GalSph or GlcSph enriched by this simple procedure can be readily analyzed by thin-layer chromatography or high-performance liquid chromatography.
PMCID: PMC3340580  PMID: 21136152
Galactosylsphingosine; Psychosine; Glucosylsphingosine; Krabbe disease; Gaucher disease
25.  Competitive DNA transfection formulation via electroporation for human adipose stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells 
Adipose stem cells have a strong potential for use in cell-based therapy, but the current nucleofection technique, which relies on unknown buffers, prevents their use.
We developed an optimal nucleofection formulation for human adipose stem cells by using a three-step method that we had developed previously. This method was designed to determine the optimal formulation for nucleofection that was capable of meeting or surpassing the established commercial buffer (Amaxa), in particular for murine adipose stem cells. By using this same buffer, we determined that the same formulation yields optimal transfection efficiency in human mesenchymal stem cells.
Our findings suggest that transfection efficiency in human stem cells can be boosted with proper formulation.
PMCID: PMC3388581  PMID: 22512891
Electroporation; Formulation; Stem cells; Transfection; Cell therapy

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