November 28, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Stem cell reads: liver buds, MSCs, SMARC, more

It’s fitting, given the edginess over the election, that Halloween is falling only a few days before election day so here is a list of recommended stem cell reads for you to dive into some biomedical science.

Liver buds from stem cells

Generation of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived liver buds with chemically defined and animal origin-free media, Scientific Reports. In a decade might we have liver transplants based on this technology? If so, it will probably be small structures that are like a lobe rather than a whole liver.

Liver buds from stem cell culture
Stem cell derived liver buds. “Generation of all iPSC-LBs using defined medium (Step VI). (a) Morphological representation of all iPSC-LBs generated using cells differentiated in the CD-AOF medium. Green segments in the bottom panel represent successful recognition of individual LBs in dimple-well plates. Scale bar, 200 µm.” Sekine, et al Stem Cell Reports 2020.

MSCs being studied for COVID-19

Here’s the NIH view of everything related to using MSCs for the novel coronavirus. The October NIH post stresses against using MSCs for COVID-19 outside of a clinical trial. Unfortunately, many stem cell clinics have been selling such offerings, trying to make money off of the pandemic.

It’s a balanced overview, discussing the potential immune-modulation rationale and the fact that MSCs seem to lack the receptor needed to be infected by SARS-CoV-2 so probably cannot be infected themselves, but the agency also stresses:

“No mesenchymal stem cells are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of COVID-19. There are insufficient data to assess the role of mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of COVID-19.”

I’m very curious in the end to see the MSC COVID-19 trial data from the strongest of the trials.

SMARCB1 in Pluripotent Stem Cells

Demyelination and NSCs

Relative Levels of Gli1 and Gli2 Determine the Response of Ventral Neural Stem Cells to Demyelination, Stem Cell Reports.

Stem cell clinic warning

Clinic slapped with CBER warning, from RAPS. The letter was not an actual warning letter, but rather an untitled letter. It went to chiropractor Michael Johnson of Optimal Health Stem Cell and Wellness Institute. It’s scary to think of this operation doing interthecal administration of some biologic into the spine. Here’s the actual letter.

Blast from the past: reprogramming in vivo

From 7 years ago we have In vivo reprogramming to make IPS cell-like cells inside the body: Dishing on Nature paper on making iPS cells inside mice.

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