Publications by authors named "Giacomo Lanzoni"

30 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Patch grafting, strategies for transplantation of organoids into solid organs such as liver.

Biomaterials 2021 10 25;277:121067. Epub 2021 Aug 25.

Departments of Cell Biology and Physiology, Program in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, USA. Electronic address:

Epithelial cell therapies have been at an impasse because of inefficient methods of transplantation to solid organs. Patch grafting strategies were established enabling transplantation of ≥10 organoids/patch of porcine GFP+ biliary tree stem/progenitors into livers of wild type hosts. Grafts consisted of organoids embedded in soft (~100 Pa) hyaluronan hydrogels, both prepared in serum-free Kubota's Medium; placed against target sites; covered with a silk backing impregnated with more rigid hyaluronan hydrogels (~700 Pa); and use of the backing to tether grafts with sutures or glue to target sites. Hyaluronan coatings (~200-300 Pa) onto the serosal surface of the graft served to minimize adhesions with neighboring organs. The organ's clearance of hyaluronans enabled restoration of tissue-specific paracrine and systemic signaling, resulting in return of normal hepatic histology, with donor parenchymal cells uniformly integrated amidst host cells and that had differentiated to mature hepatocytes and cholangiocytes. Grafts containing donor mature hepatocytes, partnered with endothelia, and in the same graft biomaterials as for stem/progenitor organoids, did not engraft. Engraftment occurred if porcine liver-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were co-transplanted with donor mature cells. RNA-seq analyses revealed that engraftment correlated with expression of matrix-metalloproteinases (MMPs), especially secreted isoforms that were found expressed strongly by organoids, less so by MSCs, and minimally, if at all, by adult cells. Engraftment with patch grafting strategies occurred without evidence of emboli or ectopic cell distribution. It was successful with stem/progenitor organoids or with cells with a source(s) of secreted MMP isoforms and offers significant potential for enabling cell therapies for solid organs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2021.121067DOI Listing
October 2021

Dietary and Protective Factors to Halt or Mitigate Progression of Autoimmunity, COVID-19 and Its Associated Metabolic Diseases.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Mar 19;22(6). Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Systems Medicine, University of Rome "Tor Vergata", 00133 Rome, Italy.

COVID-19 is without any doubt the worst pandemic we have faced since the H1N1 virus outbreak. Even if vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 infection is becoming increasingly available, a more feasible approach for COVID-19 prevention and therapy is still needed. Evidence of a pathological link between metabolic diseases and severe forms of COVID-19 has stimulated critical reflection and new considerations. In particular, an abnormal immune response observed in certain patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection suggested possible common predisposing risk factors with autoimmune diseases such as Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Correct supplementation with dietary factors may be key to preventing and counteracting both the underlying metabolic impairment and the complications of COVID-19. A set of agents may inhibit the cytokine storm and hypercoagulability that characterize severe COVID-19 infection: vitamin D3, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, polyphenols like pterostilbene, polydatin and honokiol, which can activate anti-inflammatory and antioxidant sirtuins pathways, quercetin, vitamin C, zinc, melatonin, lactoferrin and glutathione. These agents could be highly beneficial for subjects who have altered immune responses. In this review, we discuss the antiviral and metabolic effects of these dietary factors and propose their combination for potential applications in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Rigorous studies will be fundamental for validating preventive and therapeutic protocols that could be of assistance to mitigate disease progression following SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22063134DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8003583PMC
March 2021

Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells for COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome: A double-blind, phase 1/2a, randomized controlled trial.

Stem Cells Transl Med 2021 05 5;10(5):660-673. Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Diabetes Research Institute, Cell Transplant Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA.

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 is associated with high mortality. Mesenchymal stem cells are known to exert immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects and could yield beneficial effects in COVID-19 ARDS. The objective of this study was to determine safety and explore efficacy of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell (UC-MSC) infusions in subjects with COVID-19 ARDS. A double-blind, phase 1/2a, randomized, controlled trial was performed. Randomization and stratification by ARDS severity was used to foster balance among groups. All subjects were analyzed under intention to treat design. Twenty-four subjects were randomized 1:1 to either UC-MSC treatment (n = 12) or the control group (n = 12). Subjects in the UC-MSC treatment group received two intravenous infusions (at day 0 and 3) of 100 ± 20 × 10 UC-MSCs; controls received two infusions of vehicle solution. Both groups received best standard of care. Primary endpoint was safety (adverse events [AEs]) within 6 hours; cardiac arrest or death within 24 hours postinfusion). Secondary endpoints included patient survival at 31 days after the first infusion and time to recovery. No difference was observed between groups in infusion-associated AEs. No serious adverse events (SAEs) were observed related to UC-MSC infusions. UC-MSC infusions in COVID-19 ARDS were found to be safe. Inflammatory cytokines were significantly decreased in UC-MSC-treated subjects at day 6. Treatment was associated with significantly improved patient survival (91% vs 42%, P = .015), SAE-free survival (P = .008), and time to recovery (P = .03). UC-MSC infusions are safe and could be beneficial in treating subjects with COVID-19 ARDS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/sctm.20-0472DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8046040PMC
May 2021

Transplantation of stem cell-derived pancreatic islet cells.

Nat Rev Endocrinol 2021 01;17(1):7-8

Diabetes Research Institute and Cell Transplant Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41574-020-00430-9DOI Listing
January 2021

Single-cell resolution analysis of the human pancreatic ductal progenitor cell niche.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 05 30;117(20):10876-10887. Epub 2020 Apr 30.

Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33136;

We have described multipotent progenitor-like cells within the major pancreatic ducts (MPDs) of the human pancreas. They express PDX1, its surrogate surface marker P2RY1, and the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) receptor 1A (BMPR1A)/activin-like kinase 3 (ALK3), but not carbonic anhydrase II (CAII). Here we report the single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) of ALK3-sorted ductal cells, a fraction that harbors BMP-responsive progenitor-like cells. Our analysis unveiled the existence of multiple subpopulations along two major axes, one that encompasses a gradient of ductal cell differentiation stages, and another featuring cells with transitional phenotypes toward acinar tissue. A third potential ducto-endocrine axis is revealed upon integration of the ALK3 dataset with a single-cell whole-pancreas transcriptome. When transplanted into immunodeficient mice, P2RY1/ALK3 populations (enriched in PDX1/ALK3/CAII cells) differentiate into all pancreatic lineages, including functional β-cells. This process is accelerated when hosts are treated systemically with an ALK3 agonist. We found PDX1/ALK3/CAII progenitor-like cells in the MPDs of types 1 and 2 diabetes donors, regardless of the duration of the disease. Our findings open the door to the pharmacological activation of progenitor cells in situ.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1918314117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7245071PMC
May 2020

What the HLA-I!-Classical and Non-classical HLA Class I and Their Potential Roles in Type 1 Diabetes.

Curr Diab Rep 2019 12 9;19(12):159. Epub 2019 Dec 9.

Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science, University of Exeter Medical School, RILD Building, Barrack Road, Exeter, EX2 5DW, UK.

Purpose Of Review: Hyperexpression of classical HLA class I (HLA-I) molecules in insulin-containing islets has become a widely accepted hallmark of type 1 diabetes pathology. In comparison, relatively little is known about the expression, function and role of non-classical subtypes of HLA-I. This review focuses on the current understanding of the non-classical HLA-I subtypes: HLA-E, HLA-F and HLA-G, within and outside the field of type 1 diabetes, and considers the possible impacts of these molecules on disease etiology.

Recent Findings: Evidence is growing to suggest that non-classical HLA-I proteins are upregulated, both at the RNA and protein levels in the pancreas of individuals with recent-onset type 1 diabetes. Moreover, associations between non-classical HLA-I genotypes and age at onset of type 1 diabetes have been reported in some studies. As with classical HLA-I, it is likely that hyperexpression of non-classical HLA-I is driven by the release of diffusible interferons by stressed β cells (potentially driven by viral infection) and exacerbated by release of cytokines from infiltrating immune cells. Non-classical HLA-I proteins predominantly (but not exclusively) transduce negative signals to immune cells infiltrating at the site of injury/inflammation. We propose a model in which the islet endocrine cells, through expression of non-classical HLA-I are fighting back against the infiltrating immune cells. By inhibiting the activity and function on NK, B and select T cells, the non-classical HLA-I, proteins will reduce the non-specific bystander effects of inflammation, while at the same time still allowing the targeted destruction of β cells by specific islet-reactive CD8+ T cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11892-019-1245-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6901423PMC
December 2019

The Role of Vitamin D and Omega-3 PUFAs in Islet Transplantation.

Nutrients 2019 Dec 3;11(12). Epub 2019 Dec 3.

Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) and Clinical Cell Transplant Program, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33136, USA.

Recurrence of autoimmunity and allograft rejection represent major challenges that impact the success of islet transplantation. Despite the remarkable improvements achieved in immunosuppression strategies after the publication of the Edmonton protocol, long-term data of intra-hepatic islet transplantation show a gradual decline in beta-cell function. Therefore, there is a growing interest in the investigation of novel, safe and effective anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory strategies able to promote long-term islet graft survival and notable improvements in clinical outcomes of islet transplant recipients. Vitamin D has been shown to exert anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. Pre-clinical studies investigating the use of vitamin D and its analogs (alone or in combination with immunosuppressive agents and/or other anti-inflammatory agents, such as omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids) showed beneficial results in terms of islet graft survival and prevention of recurrence of autoimmunity/allograft rejection in animal models of syngeneic and allogeneic islet transplantation. Moreover, epidemiologic studies demonstrated that vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent after solid organ transplantation (e.g., heart, liver or kidney transplantation). However, studies that critically assess the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among islet transplant recipients have yet to be conducted. In addition, prospective studies aimed to address the safety and efficacy of vitamin D supplementation as an adjuvant immunomodulatory strategy in islet transplant recipients are lacking and are therefore awaited in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu11122937DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6950335PMC
December 2019

Label-Free LC-MS/MS Strategy for Comprehensive Proteomic Profiling of Human Islets Collected Using Laser Capture Microdissection from Frozen Pancreata.

Methods Mol Biol 2019 ;1871:253-264

Center for Translational Biomedical Research, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Kannapolis, NC, USA.

Diabetes mellitus is caused by either loss of pancreatic islets β-cells (Type 1 Diabetes, T1D), insufficient insulin release in the islet β-cells coupled with insulin resistance in target tissues (Type 2 Diabetes, T2D), or impaired insulin release (genetic forms of diabetes and, possibly, T1D subtypes). The investigation of the islet proteome could elucidate facets of the pathogenesis of diabetes. Enzymatically isolated and cultured (EIC) islets are frequently used to investigate biochemical signaling pathways that could trigger β-cell changes and death in diabetes. However, they cannot fully reflect the natural protein composition and disease process of in vivo islets due to the stress from isolation procedures and in vitro culture. The laser capture microdissection method employs a high-energy laser source to separate the desired cells from the remaining tissue section in an environment which is well conserved and close to the natural condition. Here, we describe a label-free proteomic workflow of laser capture microdissected (LCM) human islets from fresh-frozen pancreas sections of cadaveric donors to obtain an accurate and unbiased profile of the pancreatic islet proteome. The workflow includes preparation of frozen tissue section, staining and dehydration, LCM islets collection, islet protein digestion, label-free Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), database search, and statistical analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-8814-3_16DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6317367PMC
June 2019

P2RY1/ALK3-Expressing Cells within the Adult Human Exocrine Pancreas Are BMP-7 Expandable and Exhibit Progenitor-like Characteristics.

Cell Rep 2018 02;22(9):2408-2420

Diabetes Research Institute, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33136, USA; Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33136, USA; Department of Surgery, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33136, USA. Electronic address:

Treatment of human pancreatic non-endocrine tissue with Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7 (BMP-7) leads to the formation of glucose-responsive β-like cells. Here, we show that BMP-7 acts on extrainsular cells expressing PDX1 and the BMP receptor activin-like kinase 3 (ALK3/BMPR1A). In vitro lineage tracing indicates that ALK3 cell populations are multipotent. PDX1/ALK3 cells are absent from islets but prominently represented in the major pancreatic ducts and pancreatic duct glands. We identified the purinergic receptor P2Y1 (P2RY1) as a surrogate surface marker for PDX1. Sorted P2RY1/ALK3 cells form BMP-7-expandable colonies characterized by NKX6.1 and PDX1 expression. Unlike the negative fraction controls, these colonies can be differentiated into multiple pancreatic lineages upon BMP-7 withdrawal. RNA-seq further corroborates the progenitor-like nature of P2RY1/ALK3 cells and their multilineage differentiation potential. Our studies confirm the existence of progenitor cells in the adult human pancreas and suggest a specific anatomical location within the ductal and glandular networks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2018.02.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5905712PMC
February 2018

Proteomic profiling of human islets collected from frozen pancreata using laser capture microdissection.

J Proteomics 2017 01 13;150:149-159. Epub 2016 Sep 13.

Center for Translational Biomedical Research, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, North Carolina Research Campus, Kannapolis, NC 28081, USA.

The etiology of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) remains elusive. Enzymatically isolated and cultured (EIC) islets cannot fully reflect the natural protein composition and disease process of in vivo islets, because of the stress from isolation procedures. In order to study islet protein composition in conditions close to the natural environment, we performed proteomic analysis of EIC islets, and laser capture microdissected (LCM) human islets and acinar tissue from fresh-frozen pancreas sections of three cadaveric donors. 1104 and 706 proteins were identified from 6 islets equivalents (IEQ) of LCM islets and acinar tissue, respectively. The proteomic profiles of LCM islets were reproducible within and among cadaveric donors. The endocrine hormones were only detected in LCM islets, whereas catalytic enzymes were significantly enriched in acinar tissue. Furthermore, high overlap (984 proteins) and similar function distribution were found between LCM and EIC islets proteomes, except that EIC islets had more acinar contaminants and stress-related signal transducer activity proteins. The comparison among LCM islets, LCM acinar tissue and EIC islets proteomes indicates that LCM combined with proteomic methods enables accurate and unbiased profiling of islet proteome from frozen pancreata. This paves the way for proteomic studies on human islets during the progression of T1D.

Significance: The etiological agent triggering autoimmunity against beta cells in Type 1 diabetes (T1D) remains obscure. The in vitro models available (enzymatically isolated and cultured islets, EIC islets) do not accurately reflect what happens in vivo due to lack of the natural environment where islets exist and the preparation-induced changes in cell physiology. The importance of this study is that we investigated the feasibility of laser capture microdissection (LCM) for the isolation of intact islets from frozen cadaveric pancreatic tissue sections. We compared the protein profile of LCM islets (9 replicates from 3 cadaveric donors) with that of both LCM acinar tissues (6 replicates from the same 3 cadaveric donor as LCM islets) and EIC islets (at least 4 replicates for each sample with the same islets equivalents) by using proteomics techniques with advanced instrumentation, nanoLC-Q Exactive HF Orbitrap mass spectrometry (nano LC-MS/MS). The results demonstrate that the LCM method is reliable in isolating islets with an intact environment. LCM-based islet proteomics is a feasible approach to obtain good proteome coverage for assessing the pathology of T1D using cadaveric pancreatic samples, even from very small sample amounts. Future applications of this LCM-based proteomic method may help us understand the pathogenesis of T1D and identify potential biomarkers for T1D diagnosis at an early stage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jprot.2016.09.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5110395PMC
January 2017

G-CSF and Exenatide Might Be Associated with Increased Long-Term Survival of Allogeneic Pancreatic Islet Grafts.

PLoS One 2016 10;11(6):e0157245. Epub 2016 Jun 10.

Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, United States of America.

Background: Allogeneic human islet transplantation is an effective therapy for the treatment of patients with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). The low number of islet transplants performed worldwide and the different transplantation protocols used limit the identification of the most effective therapeutic options to improve the efficacy of this approach.

Methods: We present a retrospective analysis on the data collected from 44 patients with T1D who underwent islet transplantation at our institute between 2000 and 2007. Several variables were included: recipient demographics and immunological characteristics, donor and transplant characteristics, induction protocols, and additional medical treatment received. Immunosuppression was induced with anti-CD25 (Daclizumab), alone or in association with anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) treatments (Etanercept or Infliximab), or with anti-CD52 (Alemtuzumab) in association with anti-TNF-α treatments (Etanercept or Infliximab). Subsets of patients were treated with Filgrastim for moderate/severe neutropenia and/or Exenatide for post prandial hyperglycemia.

Results: The analysis performed indicates a negative association between graft survival (c-peptide level ≥ 0.3 ng/ml) and islet infusion volume, with the caveat that, the progressive reduction of infusion volumes over the years has been paralleled by improved immunosuppressive protocols. A positive association is instead suggested between graft survival and administration of Exenatide and Filgrastim, alone or in combination.

Conclusion: This retrospective analysis may be of assistance to further improve long-term outcomes of protocols for transplant of islets and other organs.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0157245PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4902232PMC
July 2017

The Human Endocrine Pancreas: New Insights on Replacement and Regeneration.

Trends Endocrinol Metab 2016 Mar 7;27(3):153-162. Epub 2016 Jan 7.

Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA; Department of Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA. Electronic address:

Islet transplantation is an effective cell therapy for type 1 diabetes (T1D) but its clinical application is limited due to shortage of donors. After a decade-long period of exploration of potential alternative cell sources, the field has only recently zeroed in on two of them as the most likely to replace islets. These are pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) (through directed differentiation) and pancreatic non-endocrine cells (through directed differentiation or reprogramming). Here we review progress in both areas, including the initiation of Phase I/II clinical trials using human embryonic stem cell (hESc)-derived progenitors, advances in hESc differentiation in vitro, novel insights on the developmental plasticity of the pancreas, and groundbreaking new approaches to induce β cell conversion from the non-endocrine compartment without genetic manipulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tem.2015.12.003DOI Listing
March 2016

The hepatic, biliary, and pancreatic network of stem/progenitor cell niches in humans: A new reference frame for disease and regeneration.

Hepatology 2016 07 24;64(1):277-86. Epub 2015 Dec 24.

Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, Division of Health Sciences, University of Rome "Foro Italico,", Rome, Italy.

Unlabelled: Stem/progenitors for liver, biliary tree, and pancreas exist at early stages of development in the definitive ventral endoderm forming the foregut. In humans, they persist postnatally as part of a network, with evidence supporting their contributions to hepatic and pancreatic organogenesis throughout life. Multiple stem cell niches persist in specific anatomical locations within the human biliary tree and pancreatic ducts. In liver and pancreas, replication of mature parenchymal cells ensures the physiological turnover and the restoration of parenchyma after minor injuries. Although actively debated, multiple observations indicate that stem/progenitor cells contribute to repair pervasive, chronic injuries. The most primitive of the stem/progenitor cells, biliary tree stem cells, are found in peribiliary glands within extrahepatic and large intrahepatic bile ducts. Biliary tree stem cells are comprised of multiple subpopulations with traits suggestive of maturational lineage stages and yet capable of self-replication and multipotent differentiation, being able to differentiate to mature liver cells (hepatocytes, cholangiocytes) and mature pancreatic cells (including functional islet endocrine cells). Hepatic stem cells are located within canals of Hering and bile ductules and are capable of differentiating to hepatocyte and cholangiocyte lineages. The existence, phenotype, and anatomical location of stem/progenitors in the adult pancreas are actively debated. Ongoing studies suggest that pancreatic stem cells reside within the biliary tree, primarily the hepatopancreatic common duct, and are rare in the pancreas proper. Pancreatic ducts and pancreatic duct glands harbor committed pancreatic progenitors.

Conclusion: The hepatic, biliary, and pancreatic network of stem/progenitor cell niches should be considered as a framework for understanding liver and pancreatic regeneration after extensive or chronic injuries and for the study of human chronic diseases affecting these organs. (Hepatology 2016;64:277-286).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hep.28326DOI Listing
July 2016

Moderate Intensity Training Impact on the Inflammatory Status and Glycemic Profiles in NOD Mice.

J Diabetes Res 2015 5;2015:737586. Epub 2015 Aug 5.

Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA.

The nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse represents a well-established experimental model analogous to human type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) as it is characterized by progressive autoimmune destruction of pancreatic β-cells. Experiments were designed to investigate the impact of moderate-intensity training on T1D immunomodulation and inflammation. Under a chronic exercise regime, NOD mice were trained on a treadmill for 12 weeks (12 m/min for 30 min, 5 d/wk) while age-matched, control animals were left untrained. Prior to and upon completion of the training period, fed plasma glucose and immunological soluble factors were monitored. Both groups showed deteriorated glycemic profiles throughout the study although trained mice tended to be more compensated than controls after 10 weeks of training. An exercise-induced weight loss was detected in the trained mice with respect to the controls from week 6. After 12 weeks, IL-6 and MIP-1β were decreased in the trained animals compared to their baseline values and versus controls, although not significantly. Morphometric analysis of pancreata revealed the presence of larger infiltrates along with decreased α-cells areas in the control mice compared to trained mice. Exercise may exert positive immunomodulation of systemic functions with respect to both T1D and inflammation, but only in a stringent therapeutic window.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/737586DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4541000PMC
August 2016

BMP-7 Induces Adult Human Pancreatic Exocrine-to-Endocrine Conversion.

Diabetes 2015 Dec 25;64(12):4123-34. Epub 2015 Aug 25.

Diabetes Research Institute, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL Department of Surgery, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL

The exocrine pancreas can give rise to endocrine insulin-producing cells upon ectopic expression of key transcription factors. However, the need for genetic manipulation remains a translational hurdle for diabetes therapy. Here we report the conversion of adult human nonendocrine pancreatic tissue into endocrine cell types by exposure to bone morphogenetic protein 7. The use of this U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved agent, without any genetic manipulation, results in the neogenesis of clusters that exhibit high insulin content and glucose responsiveness both in vitro and in vivo. In vitro lineage tracing confirmed that BMP-7-induced insulin-expressing cells arise mainly from extrainsular PDX-1(+), carbonic anhydrase II(-) (mature ductal), elastase 3a (acinar)(-) , and insulin(-) subpopulations. The nongenetic conversion of human pancreatic exocrine cells to endocrine cells is novel and represents a safer and simpler alternative to genetic reprogramming.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/db15-0688DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4657585PMC
December 2015

Susceptibility of human placenta derived mesenchymal stromal/stem cells to human herpesviruses infection.

PLoS One 2013 5;8(8):e71412. Epub 2013 Aug 5.

Department of Oncology, Haematology and Laboratory Medicine, Operative Unit of Microbiology, A. O-U. di Bologna Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna, Italy.

Fetal membranes (FM) derived mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) are higher in number, expansion and differentiation abilities compared with those obtained from adult tissues, including bone marrow. Upon systemic administration, ex vivo expanded FM-MSCs preferentially home to damaged tissues promoting regenerative processes through their unique biological properties. These characteristics together with their immune-privileged nature and immune suppressive activity, a low infection rate and young age of placenta compared to other sources of SCs make FM-MSCs an attractive target for cell-based therapy and a valuable tool in regenerative medicine, currently being evaluated in clinical trials. In the present study we investigated the permissivity of FM-MSCs to all members of the human Herpesviridae family, an issue which is relevant to their purification, propagation, conservation and therapeutic use, as well as to their potential role in the vertical transmission of viral agents to the fetus and to their potential viral vector-mediated genetic modification. We present here evidence that FM-MSCs are fully permissive to infection with Herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2), Varicella zoster virus (VZV), and Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV), but not with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Human Herpesvirus-6, 7 and 8 (HHV-6, 7, 8) although these viruses are capable of entering FM-MSCs and transient, limited viral gene expression occurs. Our findings therefore strongly suggest that FM-MSCs should be screened for the presence of herpesviruses before xenotransplantation. In addition, they suggest that herpesviruses may be indicated as viral vectors for gene expression in MSCs both in gene therapy applications and in the selective induction of differentiation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0071412PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3734067PMC
April 2014

Concise review: clinical programs of stem cell therapies for liver and pancreas.

Stem Cells 2013 Oct;31(10):2047-60

Diabetes Research Institute Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA; Department of Histology Embryology and Applied Biology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Regenerative medicine is transitioning into clinical programs using stem/progenitor cell therapies for repair of damaged organs. We summarize those for liver and pancreas, organs that share endodermal stem cell populations, biliary tree stem cells (hBTSCs), located in peribiliary glands. They are precursors to hepatic stem/progenitors in canals of Hering and to committed progenitors in pancreatic duct glands. They give rise to maturational lineages along a radial axis within bile duct walls and a proximal-to-distal axis starting at the duodenum and ending with mature cells in the liver or pancreas. Clinical trials have been ongoing for years assessing effects of determined stem cells (fetal-liver-derived hepatic stem/progenitors) transplanted into the hepatic artery of patients with various liver diseases. Immunosuppression was not required. Control subjects, those given standard of care for a given condition, all died within a year or deteriorated in their liver functions. Subjects transplanted with 100-150 million hepatic stem/progenitor cells had improved liver functions and survival extending for several years. Full evaluations of safety and efficacy of transplants are still in progress. Determined stem cell therapies for diabetes using hBTSCs remain to be explored but are likely to occur following ongoing preclinical studies. In addition, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are being used for patients with chronic liver conditions or with diabetes. MSCs have demonstrated significant effects through paracrine signaling of trophic and immunomodulatory factors, and there is limited evidence for inefficient lineage restriction into mature parenchymal or islet cells. HSCs' effects are primarily via modulation of immune mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/stem.1457DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3812254PMC
October 2013

Biliary tree stem cells, precursors to pancreatic committed progenitors: evidence for possible life-long pancreatic organogenesis.

Stem Cells 2013 Sep;31(9):1966-79

Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, Program in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Lineberger Cancer Center, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

Peribiliary glands (PBGs) in bile duct walls, and pancreatic duct glands (PDGs) associated with pancreatic ducts, in humans of all ages, contain a continuous, ramifying network of cells in overlapping maturational lineages. We show that proximal (PBGs)-to-distal (PDGs) maturational lineages start near the duodenum with cells expressing markers of pluripotency (NANOG, OCT4, and SOX2), proliferation (Ki67), self-replication (SALL4), and early hepato-pancreatic commitment (SOX9, SOX17, PDX1, and LGR5), transitioning to PDG cells with no expression of pluripotency or self-replication markers, maintenance of pancreatic genes (PDX1), and expression of markers of pancreatic endocrine maturation (NGN3, MUC6, and insulin). Radial-axis lineages start in PBGs near the ducts' fibromuscular layers with stem cells and end at the ducts' lumens with cells devoid of stem cell traits and positive for pancreatic endocrine genes. Biliary tree-derived cells behaved as stem cells in culture under expansion conditions, culture plastic and serum-free Kubota's Medium, proliferating for months as undifferentiated cells, whereas pancreas-derived cells underwent only approximately 8-10 divisions, then partially differentiated towards an islet fate. Biliary tree-derived cells proved precursors of pancreas' committed progenitors. Both could be driven by three-dimensional conditions, islet-derived matrix components and a serum-free, hormonally defined medium for an islet fate (HDM-P), to form spheroids with ultrastructural, electrophysiological and functional characteristics of neoislets, including glucose regulatability. Implantation of these neoislets into epididymal fat pads of immunocompromised mice, chemically rendered diabetic, resulted in secretion of human C-peptide, regulatable by glucose, and able to alleviate hyperglycemia in hosts. The biliary tree-derived stem cells and their connections to pancreatic committed progenitors constitute a biological framework for life-long pancreatic organogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/stem.1460DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3796013PMC
September 2013

Concise review: mesenchymal stem cells for diabetes.

Stem Cells Transl Med 2012 Jan 7;1(1):59-63. Epub 2011 Dec 7.

Diabetes Research Institute.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have already made their mark in the young field of regenerative medicine. Easily derived from many adult tissues, their therapeutic worth has already been validated for a number of conditions. Unlike embryonic stem cells, neither their procurement nor their use is deemed controversial. Here we review the potential use of MSCs for the treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus, a devastating chronic disease in which the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (the β-cells) are the target of an autoimmune process. It has been hypothesized that stem cell-derived β-cells may be used to replenish the islet mass in diabetic patients, making islet transplantation (a form of cell therapy that has already proven effective at clinically restoring normoglycemia) available to millions of prospective patients. Here we review the most current advances in the design and application of protocols for the differentiation of transplantable β-cells, with a special emphasis in analyzing MSC potency according to their tissue of origin. Although no single method appears to be ripe enough for clinical trials yet, recent progress in reprogramming (a biotechnological breakthrough that relativizes the thus far insurmountable barriers between embryonal germ layers) bodes well for the rise of MSCs as a potential weapon of choice to develop personalized therapies for type 1 diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5966/sctm.2011-0017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3727686PMC
January 2012

A simple method for identifying bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells with a high immunosuppressive potential.

Cytotherapy 2011 May 20;13(5):523-7. Epub 2010 Dec 20.

Department of Experimental and Diagnostic Medicine, Laboratory of Immunogenetics, Section of Medical Genetics, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy.

Background Aims: The beneficial activity of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) in allogeneic hematopietic stem cell transplantation requires correct use in terms of cell dose and timing of infusion and the identification of biomarkers for selection. The immunosuppressive bone marrow (BM)-derived MSC (BM-MSC) functions have been associated with the production of soluble HLA-G molecules (sHLA-G) via interleukin (IL)-10. We have established a reliable method for evaluating BM-MSC HLA-G expression without the influence of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).

Methods: Thirteen BM-MSC from donors were activated with recombinant IL-10 or co-cultured with 10 different phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-treated PBMC (PHA-PBMC). Membrane-bound and sHLA-G expression was evaluated by flow cytometry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively; lymphoproliferation was measured by (methyl-(3)H)thymidine.

Results: The results demonstrated the ability of IL-10 to stimulate both membrane-bound and sHLA-G production by BM-MSC. The levels of HLA-G expression induced by IL-10 in BM-MSC were associated with the inhibition of PHA-PBMC proliferation (sHLA-G, P = 0.0008, r = 0.9308; membrane HLA-G, P = 0.0005, r = 0.9502).

Conclusions: We propose the evaluation of sHLA-G production in IL-10-treated BM-MSC cultures as a possible marker of immunoregulatory function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/14653249.2010.542460DOI Listing
May 2011

Multidistrict human mesenchymal vascular cells: pluripotency and stemness characteristics.

Cytotherapy 2010 May;12(3):275-87

Clinical and Surgical Pathology, Department of Radiological and Histocytopathological Clinical Sciences, S. Orsola Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Background Aims: The presence of ectopic tissues in the pathologic artery wall raises the issue of whether multipotent stem cells may reside in the vasculature itself. Recently mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) have been isolated from different human vascular segments (VW MSC), belying the previous view that the vessel wall is a relatively quiescent tissue.

Methods: Resident multipotent cells were recovered from fresh arterial segments (aortic arches, thoracic and femoral arteries) collected in a tissue-banking facility and used to establish an in situ and in vitro study of the stemness features and multipotency of these multidistrict MSC populations.

Results: Notch-1+, Stro-1+, Sca-1+ and Oct-4+ cells were distributed along an arterial wall vasculogenic niche. Multidistrict VW MSC homogeneously expressed markers of stemness (Stro-1, Notch-1 and Oct-4) and MSC lineages (CD44, CD90, CD105, CD73, CD29 and CD166) whilst they were negative for hematopoietic and endothelial markers (CD34, CD45, CD31 and vWF). Each VW MSC population had characteristics of stem cells, i.e. a high efflux capability for Hoechst 33342 dye and the ability to form spheroids when grown in suspension and generate colonies when seeded at low density. Again, VW MSC cultured in induction media exhibited adipogenic, chondrogenic and leiomyogenic potential but less propensity to osteogenic differentiation, as documented by histochemical, immunohistochemical, molecular and electron microscopy analysis.

Conclusions: Overall, these findings may enlighten the physiopathologic mechanisms of vascular wall diseases as well as having potential implications for cellular, genetic and tissue engineering approaches to treating vascular pathologies when these are unresponsive to medical and surgical therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/14653241003596679DOI Listing
May 2010

A novel stem cell tag-less sorting method.

Stem Cell Rev Rep 2009 Dec;5(4):420-7

Department of Chemistry G. Ciamician, I-40126, Bologna, Italy.

Growing interest in stem cell research has led to the development of a number of new methods for isolation. The lack of homogeneity in stem cell preparation blurs standardization, which however is recommended for successful applications. Among stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are promising candidates for cell therapy applications. This paper presents a fractionation protocol based on a tag-less, flow-assisted method of purifying, distinguishing and sorting MSCs. The protocol entails a suspension of cells in a transport fluid being injected into a ribbon-like capillary device by continuous flow. In a relatively short time (about 30 min) sorted cells are collected. The protocol has been applied to the improvement of MSC isolation, with a specific view to reducing cell manipulation operations, keeping instrumental simplicity and increasing analytical information for cell characterization. Applications such as MSC purification from epithelial contaminants, MSC characterization from various human sources and sorting of MSC subpopulations with high differentiation potential are described. The low cost, full biocompatibility and scale-up potential of the protocol presented could make the procedure attractive for stem cell selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12015-009-9088-7DOI Listing
December 2009

Toward cell therapy using placenta-derived cells: disease mechanisms, cell biology, preclinical studies, and regulatory aspects at the round table.

Stem Cells Dev 2010 Feb;19(2):143-54

Centro di Ricerca E. Menni, Brescia, Italy.

Among the many cell types that may prove useful to regenerative medicine, mounting evidence suggests that human term placenta-derived cells will join the list of significant contributors. In making new cell therapy-based strategies a clinical reality, it is fundamental that no a priori claims are made regarding which cell source is preferable for a particular therapeutic application. Rather, ongoing comparisons of the potentiality and characteristics of cells from different sources should be made to promote constant improvement in cell therapies, and such comparisons will likely show that individually tailored cells can address disease-specific clinical needs. The principle underlying such an approach is resistance to the notion that comprehensive characterization of any cell type has been achieved, neither in terms of phenotype nor risks-to-benefits ratio. Tailoring cell therapy approaches to specific conditions also requires an understanding of basic disease mechanisms and close collaboration between translational researchers and clinicians, to identify current needs and shortcomings in existing treatments. To this end, the international workshop entitled "Placenta-derived stem cells for treatment of inflammatory diseases: moving toward clinical application" was held in Brescia, Italy, in March 2009, and aimed to harness an understanding of basic inflammatory mechanisms inherent in human diseases with updated findings regarding biological and therapeutic properties of human placenta-derived cells, with particular emphasis on their potential for treating inflammatory diseases. Finally, steps required to allow their future clinical application according to regulatory aspects including good manufacturing practice (GMP) were also considered. In September 2009, the International Placenta Stem Cell Society (IPLASS) was founded to help strengthen the research network in this field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/scd.2009.0404DOI Listing
February 2010

Isolation of stem cell populations with trophic and immunoregulatory functions from human intestinal tissues: potential for cell therapy in inflammatory bowel disease.

Cytotherapy 2009 ;11(8):1020-31

Department of Histology, Embryology and Applied Biology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Background Aims: Bone marrow (BM)- and adipose tissue (AT)-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) are currently under evaluation in phase III clinical trials for inflammatory bowel disease and other intestinal disease manifestations. The therapeutic efficacy of these treatments may derive from a combination of the differentiation, trophic and immunomodulatory abilities of the transplanted cells. We investigated intestinal tissues as sources of MSC: such cells may support tissue-specific functions and hold advantages for engraftment and contribution in the gastrointestinal environment.

Methods: Intestinal specimens were collected, and the mucosa and submucosa mechanically separated and enzymatically digested. Mesenchymal stromal populations were isolated, expanded and characterized under conditions commonly used for MSC. The differentiation potential, trophic effect and immunomodulatory ability were investigated. Results We successfully isolated and extensively expanded populations showing the typical MSC profile: CD29+, CD44+, CD73+, CD105+ and CD166+, and CD14(-), CD34(-) and CD45(-). Intestinal mucosal (IM) MSC were also CD117+, while submucosal cultures (ISM MSC) showed CD34+ subsets. The cells differentiated toward osteogenic, adipogenic and angiogenic commitments. Intestinal-derived MSC were able to induce differentiation and organization of intestinal epithelial cells (Caco-2) in three-dimensional collagen cultures. Immunomodulatory activity was evidenced in co-cultures with normal heterologous phytohemagglutinin-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Conclusions Multipotent MSC can be isolated from intestinal mucosal and submucosal tissues. IM MSC and ISM MSC are able to perform trophic and immunomodulatory functions. These findings could open a pathway for novel approaches to intestinal disease treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/14653240903253840DOI Listing
January 2010

Gravitational field-flow fractionation of human hemopoietic stem cells.

J Chromatogr A 2009 Dec 17;1216(52):9081-7. Epub 2009 Jul 17.

Department of Chemistry G. Ciamician, Via Selmi 2, I-40126 Bologna, Italy.

New cell sorting methodologies, which are simple, fast, non-invasive, and able to isolate homogeneous cell populations, are needed for applications ranging from gene expression analysis to cell-based therapy. In particular, in the forefront of stem cell isolation, progenitor cells have to be separated under mild experimental conditions from complex heterogeneous mixtures prepared from human tissues. Most of the methodologies now employed make use of immunological markers. However, it is widely acknowledged that specific markers for pluripotent stem cells are not as yet available, and cell labelling may interfere with the differentiation process. This work presents for the first time gravitational field-flow fractionation (GrFFF), as a tool for tag-less, direct selection of human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells from cell samples obtained by peripheral blood aphaeresis. These cells are responsible to repopulate the hemopoietic system and they are used in transplantation therapies. Blood aphaeresis sample were injected into a GrFFF system and collected fractions were characterized by flow cytometry for CD34 and CD45 expression, and then tested for viability and multi-differentiation potential. The developed GrFFF method allowed obtaining high enrichment levels of viable, multi-potent hematopoietic stem cells in specific fraction and it showed to fulfil major requirements of analytical performance, such as selectivity and reproducibility of the fractionation process and high sample recovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2009.07.024DOI Listing
December 2009

A tag-less method of sorting stem cells from clinical specimens and separating mesenchymal from epithelial progenitor cells.

Cytometry B Clin Cytom 2009 Jul;76(4):285-90

Department of Chemistry G. Ciamician, University of Bologna, via Selmi 2, I-40126 Bologna, Italy.

Background: The interest in stem cell (SC) isolation from easily accessible clinical specimens is booming. The lack of homogeneity in pluri/multipotent SC preparation blurs standardization, which however is recommended for successful applications. Multipotent mesenchymal SCs (MSCs) in fact express a broad panel of surface antigens, which limit the possibility of sorting homogeneous preparations by using an immunotag-based method.

Methods: We present a tag-less, flow-assisted method to purify, distinguish, and sort pluri/multipotent SCs obtained from clinical specimens, based on differences in the biophysical properties that cells acquire when in suspension under fluidic conditions. A suspension of cells in a transport fluid is injected into a ribbon-like capillary device by continuous flow. In a relatively short time (about 30 min), sorted cells are collected.

Results: We obtained baseline separation between MSCs and epithelial cells, which are important contaminants of isolated MSCs. The extent of separation is evaluated by flow cytometry through detection of a specific epithelial antigen. MSCs from various human sources also prove to have different, characteristic, highly-reproducible fractionation profiles. Finally, we evaluated the dissimilar differentiation potential among cell fractions obtained from sorting a single MSC source. After differentiation induction, a fraction displayed a differentiation yield close to 100%, whereas unfractionated cells contained only 40% of responding cells.

Conclusions: The results demonstrate that the method presented is able to obtain selected and well-characterized living MSCs with an increased differentiation yield. Its reduced cost, full biocompatibility, and scale-up potential could make this method an effective procedure for stem cell selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cyto.b.20472DOI Listing
July 2009

Thrombocytopenia with absent radii (TAR) syndrome: from hemopoietic progenitor to mesenchymal stromal cell disease?

Exp Hematol 2009 Jan 22;37(1):1-7. Epub 2008 Nov 22.

Department of Histology, Embryology and Applied Biology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Thrombocytopenia with absent radii (TAR) syndrome is a rare autosomal recessive disease characterized by hypomegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia and bilateral radial aplasia. Its expression includes skeletal, hematologic, and cardiac system abnormalities. According to some authors, the association of disparate skeletal and hematologic abnormalities is related to simultaneous development of the heart, radii, and megakaryocytes at 6 to 8 weeks' gestation. Thrombocytopenia that generally presents at birth or during the neonatal period can also occur subsequently. Data as to the physiopathology of TAR syndrome are scanty because of the low frequency of the disease and frequent unavailability of samples for bone marrow. The few studies on colony formation suggest that thrombocytopenia could be due to a decreased response to thrombopoietin that affects both proliferation and differentiation. The genetic basis of this syndrome remains unclear because c-mpl gene mutations are not a likely cause of thrombocytopenia and they are also frequent in the normal population. This is also the case for the mutations to the multifunctional growth factor transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta2 gene as described in our laboratory. Finally, the deletion on chromosome 1q21.1 described by Klopocki and colleagues is not considered sufficient to determine the TAR syndrome phenotype. We have reported that bone marrow adherent stromal cells from patients with TAR syndrome do not express CD105 antigen (expressed in normal mesenchymal cells), part of the receptor complex for TGF-beta1 and TGF-beta3. Thus, the hypothesis that the clinical phenotype of TAR could derive from damage to a common osteo/chondrogenic and hemopoietic progenitor warrants further study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exphem.2008.09.004DOI Listing
January 2009

A decreased positivity for CD90 on human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) is associated with a loss of immunosuppressive activity by MSCs.

Cytometry B Clin Cytom 2009 May;76(3):225-30

Hematology Section, University, St. Anna Hospital, Corso Giovecca n. 203, Ferrara, Italy.

Biologic and clinical interest in human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSC) has risen over the last years, mainly due to their immunosuppressive properties. In this study, we investigated the basis of immunomodulant possible variability using hMSC from different sources (amniotic membrane, chorion, and bone marrow from either healthy subjects or patients with hematological malignancies, HM) and having discordant positivity for several immunological markers. The CD90+ hMSC reduced lymphoproliferative response in phytohemagglutinin (PHA) activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) via sHLA-G and IL-10 up-modulation. On the contrary, hMSC showing a significantly lower expression for CD90 antigen, elicited a lymphoproliferative allogeneic response in PHA/PBMCs without any increase in soluble HLA-G and IL-10 levels. These data seems to suggest that CD90 molecule may be considered a novel predictive marker for hMSC inhibitory ability, and might cooperate with HLA-G molecule in regulating suppressive versus stimulatory properties of hMSC. These results may have clinical implication in either transplantation or in regenerative medicine fields.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cyto.b.20461DOI Listing
May 2009

Inflammatory bowel disease: Moving toward a stem cell-based therapy.

World J Gastroenterol 2008 Aug;14(29):4616-26

Department of Histology, Embryology and Applied Biology, University of Bologna, Via Belmeloro 8, Bologna, Italy.

The incidence and prevalence of Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), the two major forms of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), are rising in western countries. The modern hygienic lifestyle is probably at the root of a disease where, in genetically susceptible hosts, the intestinal commensal flora triggers dysregulated immune and inflammatory responses. Current therapies ranging from anti-inflammatory drugs to immunosuppressive regimens, remain inadequate. Advances in our understanding of the cell populations involved in the pathogenetic processes and recent findings on the regenerative, trophic and immunoregulatory potential of stem cells open new paths in IBD therapy. Hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells are catalyzing the attention of IBD investigators. This review highlights the pivotal findings for stem cell-based approaches to IBD therapy and collects the encouraging results coming in from clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3748/wjg.14.4616DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2738785PMC
August 2008

Term Amniotic membrane is a high throughput source for multipotent Mesenchymal Stem Cells with the ability to differentiate into endothelial cells in vitro.

BMC Dev Biol 2007 Feb 21;7:11. Epub 2007 Feb 21.

Department of Histology, Embryology and Applied Biology, University of Bologna, Italy.

Background: Term Amniotic membrane (AM) is a very attractive source of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) due to the fact that this fetal tissue is usually discarded without ethical conflicts, leading to high efficiency in MSC recovery with no intrusive procedures. Here we confirmed that term AM, as previously reported in the literature, is an abundant source of hMSCs; in particular we further investigated the AM differentiation potential by assessing whether these cells may also be committed to the angiogenic fate. In agreement with the recommendation of the International Society for Cellular Therapy, the mesenchymal cells herein investigated were named Amniotic Membrane-human Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (AM-hMSC).

Results: The recovery of hMSCs and their in vitro expansion potential were greater in amniotic membrane than in bone marrow stroma. At flow cytometry analysis AM-hMSCs showed an immunophenotypical profile, i.e., positive for CD105, CD73, CD29, CD44, CD166 and negative for CD14, CD34, CD45, consistent with that reported for bone marrow-derived MSCs. In addition, amniotic membrane-isolated cells underwent in vitro osteogenic (von Kossa stain), adipogenic (Oil Red-O stain), chondrogenic (collagen type II immunohistochemichal detection) and myogenic (RT-PCR MyoD and Myogenin expression as well as desmin immunohistochemical detection) differentiation. In angiogenic experiments, a spontaneous differentiation into endothelial cells was detected by in vitro matrigel assay and this behaviour has been enhanced through Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) induction. According to these findings, VEGF receptor 1 and 2 (FLT-1 and KDR) were basally expressed in AM-hMSCs and the expression of endothelial-specific markers like FLT-1 KDR, ICAM-1 increased after exposure to VEGF together with the occurrence of CD34 and von Willebrand Factor positive cells.

Conclusion: The current study suggests that AM-hMSCs may emerge as a remarkable tool for the cell therapy of multiple diseased tissues. AM-hMSCs may potentially assist both bone and cartilage repair, nevertheless, due to their angiogenic potential, they may also pave the way for novel approaches in the development of tissue-engineered vascular grafts which are useful when vascularization of ischemic tissues is required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-213X-7-11DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1810523PMC
February 2007
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