Stem cells have the unique ability to become any type of cell in the body.
Given this, the possibility that they can be cultured and engineered in the laboratory makes them an attractive option for regenerative medicine.
However, some conditions that are commonly used for culturing human stem cells have the potential to introduce contaminants, thus rendering the cells unusable for clinical use. These conditions cannot be avoided, however, as they help maintain the pluripotency of the stem cells.
In a study published in Scientific Reports, a group from the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies in Japan has gained new insight into the role of CCL2, a chemokine known to be involved in the immune response, in the enhancement of stem cell pluripotency.
In the study, the researchers replaced basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), a critical component of human stem cell culture, with CCL2 and studied its effect. The work showed that CCL2 used as a replacement for bFGF activated the JAK/STAT pathway, which is known to be involved in the immune response and maintenance of mouse pluripotent stem cells.
In addition, the cells cultured with CCL2 demonstrated a higher tendency of colony attachment, high efficiency of cellular differentiation, and hints of X chromosome reactivation in female cells, all markers of pluripotency.
To understand the global effects of CCL2, the researchers compared the transcriptome of stem cells cultured with CCL2 and those with bFGF. They found that stem cells cultured with CCL2 had higher expression of genes related to the hypoxic response, such as HIF2A (EPAS1).
The study opens up avenues for further exploring the relationship between cellular stress, such as hypoxia, and the enhancement of pluripotency in cells. Yuki Hasegawa of CLST, who led the study, says, "Among the differentially expressed genes, we found out that the most significantly differentially expressed ones were those related to hypoxic responses, and hypoxia is known to be important in the progression of tumors and the maintenance of pluripotency.
These results could potentially contribute to greater consistency of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which are important both for regenerative medicine and for research into diseases processes."
As a way to apply CCL2 towards the culturing of human iPSCs with more consistent quality, the researchers developed dishes coated with CCL2 and LIF protein beads. This allowed stem cells to be cultured in a feeder-free condition, preventing the risk that viruses or other contaminants could be transmitted to the stem cells.
While the exact mechanisms of how CCL2 enhances pluripotency has yet to be elucidated, this work highlights the usefulness of CCL2 in stem cell culture.
Jens Wilkinson | Eurek Alert!
Mass spectrometry sheds new light on thallium poisoning cold case
14.12.2018 | University of Maryland
Protein involved in nematode stress response identified
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy