Unique multipotent cells in adult human mesenchymal cell populations.
ABSTRACT: We found adult human stem cells that can generate, from a single cell, cells with the characteristics of the three germ layers. The cells are stress-tolerant and can be isolated from cultured skin fibroblasts or bone marrow stromal cells, or directly from bone marrow aspirates. These cells can self-renew; form characteristic cell clusters in suspension culture that express a set of genes associated with pluripotency; and can differentiate into endodermal, ectodermal, and mesodermal cells both in vitro and in vivo. When transplanted into immunodeficient mice by local or i.v. injection, the cells integrated into damaged skin, muscle, or liver and differentiated into cytokeratin 14-, dystrophin-, or albumin-positive cells in the respective tissues. Furthermore, they can be efficiently isolated as SSEA-3(+) cells. Unlike authentic ES cells, their proliferation activity is not very high and they do not form teratomas in immunodeficient mouse testes. Thus, nontumorigenic stem cells with the ability to generate the multiple cell types of the three germ layers can be obtained through easily accessible adult human mesenchymal cells without introducing exogenous genes. These unique cells will be beneficial for cell-based therapy and biomedical research.
Project description:Undifferentiated stem cells are better donor cells for somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), resulting in more offspring than more differentiated cells. While various stem cell populations have been confirmed to exist in the skin, progress has been restricted due to the lack of a suitable marker for their prospective isolation. To address this fundamental issue, a marker is required that could unambiguously prove the differentiation state of the donor cells. We therefore utilized magnetic activated cell sorting (MACS) to separate a homogeneous population of small SSEA-4(+) cells from a heterogeneous population of bovine embryonic skin fibroblasts (BEF). SSEA-4(+) cells were 8-10 ?m in diameter and positive for alkaline phosphatase (AP). The percentage of SSEA-4(+) cells within the cultured BEF population was low (2-3%). Immunocytochemistry and PCR analyses revealed that SSEA-4(+) cells expressed pluripotency-related markers, and could differentiate into cells comprising all three germ layers in vitro. They remained undifferentiated over 20 passages in suspension culture. In addition, cloned embryos derived from SSEA-4 cells showed significant differences in cleavage rate and blastocyst development when compared with those from BEF and SSEA-4(-) cells. Moreover, blastocysts derived from SSEA-4(+) cells showed a higher total cell number and lower apoptotic index as compared to BEF and SSEA-4(-) derived cells. It is well known that nuclei from pluripotent stem cells yield a higher cloning efficiency than those from adult somatic cells, however, pluripotent stem cells are relatively difficult to obtain from bovine. The SSEA-4(+) cells described in the current study provide an attractive candidate for SCNT and a promising platform for the generation of transgenic cattle.
Project description:Multilineage-differentiating stress-enduring (muse) cells are endogenous nontumorigenic stem cells with pluripotency harvestable as pluripotent marker SSEA-3+ cells from the bone marrow from cultured bone marrow-mesenchymal stem cells. After transplantation into neurological disease models, muse cells exert repair effects, but the exact mechanism remains inconclusive.We conducted mechanism-based experiments by transplanting serum/xeno-free cultured-human bone marrow-muse cells into the perilesion brain at 2 weeks after lacunar infarction in immunodeficient mice.Approximately 28% of initially transplanted muse cells remained in the host brain at 8 weeks, spontaneously differentiated into cells expressing NeuN (?62%), MAP2 (?30%), and GST-pi (?12%). Dextran tracing revealed connections between host neurons and muse cells at the lesioned motor cortex and the anterior horn. Muse cells extended neurites through the ipsilateral pyramidal tract, crossed to contralateral side, and reached to the pyramidal tract in the dorsal funiculus of spinal cord. Muse-transplanted stroke mice displayed significant recovery in cylinder tests, which was reverted by the human-selective diphtheria toxin. At 10 months post-transplantation, human-specific Alu sequence was detected only in the brain but not in other organs, with no evidence of tumor formation.Transplantation at the delayed subacute phase showed muse cells differentiated into neural cells, facilitated neural reconstruction, improved functions, and displayed solid safety outcomes over prolonged graft maturation period, indicating their therapeutic potential for lacunar stroke.
Project description:Transplantation of mouse embryonic stem (mES) cells can restore function in Parkinson disease models, but can generate teratomas. Purification of dopamine neurons derived from embryonic stem cells by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) could provide a functional cell population for transplantation while eliminating the risk of teratoma formation. Here we used the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) promoter to drive enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) expression in mES cells. First, we evaluated 2.5-kilobase (kb) and 9-kb TH promoter fragments and showed that clones generated using the 9-kb fragment produced significantly more eGFP+/TH+ neurons. We selected the 9-kb TH clone with the highest eGFP/TH overlap for further differentiation, FACS, and transplantation experiments. Grafts contained large numbers of eGFP+ dopamine neurons of an appropriate phenotype. However, there were also numerous eGFP+ cells that did not express TH and did not have a neuronal morphology. In addition, we found cells in the grafts representing all three germ layers. Based on these findings, we examined the expression of stem cell markers in our eGFP+ population. We found that a majority of eGFP+ cells were stage-specific embryonic antigen-positive (SSEA-1+) and that the genetically engineered clones contained more SSEA-1+ cells after differentiation than the original D3 mES cells. By negative selection of SSEA-1, we could isolate a neuronal eGFP+ population of high purity. These results illustrate the complexity of using genetic selection to purify mES cell-derived dopamine neurons and provide a comprehensive analysis of cell selection strategies based on tyrosine hydroxylase expression. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Recent studies have demonstrated that primordial germ cells (PGC) can be differentiated from human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSCs), and embryonic stem cells (ESCs) in vitro. Nevertheless, efficiencies were low and unstable. Here, whether hUC-MSCs can be induced to differentiate into germ-like cells with the aid of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP4) was investigated. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells were freshly isolated and cultured with BMP4. SSEA-1(+/-) cells were purified using magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS) from the hUC-MSCs, and further induced with BMP4. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and immunofluorescence analysis were used to determine PGC and germ-like cell-specific markers. RESULTS:Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells differentiated into SSEA-1(+) spherical PGC-like cells efficiently with 12.5 ng/ml BMP4. qRT-PCR and immunofluorescence analysis demonstrated that SSEA-1(+) cells expressed higher levels of PGC-specific markers than SSEA-1(-) cells. Furthermore, SSEA-1(+) cells were induced with BMP4 to differentiate into STRA8, SCP3, DMRT1 and PLZF-positive male germ-like cells, and some sperm-like cells were obtained by 7-14 days after induction. CONCLUSION:These results suggest that SSEA-1(+) hUC-MSCs can differentiate into male germ-like cells in the presence of BMP4. This study provides an efficient protocol to study germ-cell development using hUC-MSCs.
Project description:Stage-specific embryonic antigen 1 (SSEA-1), an antigenic epitope defined as a Lewis x carbohydrate structure, is expressed during the 8-cell to blastocyst stages in mouse embryos and in primordial germ cells, undifferentiated embryonic stem cells, and embryonic carcinoma cells. For many years, SSEA-1 has been implicated in the development of mouse embryos as a functional carbohydrate epitope in cell-to-cell interaction during morula compaction. In a previous study, alpha 1,3-fucosyltransferase IX (Fut9) exhibited very strong activity for the synthesis of Lewis x compared to other alpha 1,3-fucosyltransferases in an in vitro substrate specificity assay. Fut4 and Fut9 transcripts were expressed in mouse embryos. The Fut9 transcript was detected in embryonic-day-13.5 gonads containing primordial germ cells, but the Fut4 transcript was not. In order to identify the role of SSEA-1 and determine the key enzyme for SSEA-1 synthesis in vivo, we have generated Fut9-deficient (Fut9(-/-)) mice. Fut9(-/-) mice develop normally, with no gross phenotypic abnormalities, and are fertile. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed an absence of SSEA-1 expression in early embryos and primordial germ cells of Fut9(-/-) mice. Therefore, we conclude that expression of the SSEA-1 epitope in the developing mouse embryo is not essential for embryogenesis in vivo.
Project description:Cell therapy holds promise for tissue regeneration, including in individuals with advanced heart failure. However, treatment of heart disease with bone marrow cells and skeletal muscle progenitors has had only marginal positive benefits in clinical trials, perhaps because adult stem cells have limited plasticity. The identification, among human pluripotent stem cells, of early cardiovascular cell progenitors required for the development of the first cardiac lineage would shed light on human cardiogenesis and might pave the way for cell therapy for cardiac degenerative diseases. Here, we report the isolation of an early population of cardiovascular progenitors, characterized by expression of OCT4, stage-specific embryonic antigen 1 (SSEA-1), and mesoderm posterior 1 (MESP1), derived from human pluripotent stem cells treated with the cardiogenic morphogen BMP2. This progenitor population was multipotential and able to generate cardiomyocytes as well as smooth muscle and endothelial cells. When transplanted into the infarcted myocardium of immunosuppressed nonhuman primates, an SSEA-1+ progenitor population derived from Rhesus embryonic stem cells differentiated into ventricular myocytes and reconstituted 20% of the scar tissue. Notably, primates transplanted with an unpurified population of cardiac-committed cells, which included SSEA-1- cells, developed teratomas in the scar tissue, whereas those transplanted with purified SSEA-1+ cells did not. We therefore believe that the SSEA-1+ progenitors that we have described here have the potential to be used in cardiac regenerative medicine.
Project description:The reprogramming of human somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cells enables the possibility of generating patient-specific autologous cells for regenerative medicine. A number of human somatic cell types have been reported to generate hiPS cells, including fibroblasts, keratinocytes and peripheral blood cells, with variable reprogramming efficiencies and kinetics. Here, we show that human astrocytes can also be reprogrammed into hiPS (ASThiPS) cells, with similar efficiencies to keratinocytes, which are currently reported to have one of the highest somatic reprogramming efficiencies. ASThiPS lines were indistinguishable from human embryonic stem (ES) cells based on the expression of pluripotent markers and the ability to differentiate into the three embryonic germ layers in vitro by embryoid body generation and in vivo by teratoma formation after injection into immunodeficient mice. Our data demonstrates that a human differentiated neural cell type can be reprogrammed to pluripotency and is consistent with the universality of the somatic reprogramming procedure.
Project description:Reprogramming of somatic cells into inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provides an alternative to using embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Mesenchymal stem cells derived from human hair follicles (hHF-MSCs) are easily accessible, reproducible by direct plucking of human hairs. Whether these hHF-MSCs can be reprogrammed has not been previously reported. Here we report the generation of iPSCs from hHF-MSCs obtained by plucking several hairs. hHF-MSCs were isolated from hair follicle tissues and their mesenchymal nature confirmed by detecting cell surface antigens and multilineage differentiation potential towards adipocytes and osteoblasts. They were then reprogrammed into iPSCs by lentiviral transduction with Oct4, Sox2, c-Myc and Klf4. hHF-MSC-derived iPSCs appeared indistinguishable from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) in colony morphology, expression of alkaline phosphotase, and expression of specific hESCs surface markers, SSEA-3, SSEA-4, Tra-1-60, Tra-1-81, Nanog, Oct4, E-Cadherin and endogenous pluripotent genes. When injected into immunocompromised mice, hHF-MSC-derived iPSCs formed teratomas containing representatives of all three germ layers. This is the first study to report reprogramming of hHF-MSCs into iPSCs.
Project description:Recently, we identified in adult tissues a population of Oct4(+)SSEA-1(+)Sca-1(+)lin(-)CD45(-) very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs). First, to address recent controversies on Oct4 expression in cells isolated from adult organs, we show here evidence that Oct4 promoter in bone marrow (BM)-derived VSELs has an open chromatin structure and is actively transcribed. Next, to explain VSELs quiescence and lack of teratoma formation, we demonstrate a unique DNA methylation pattern at some developmentally crucial imprinted genes, showing hypomethylation/erasure of imprints in paternally methylated and hypermethylation of imprints in maternally methylated ones. These epigenetic characteristics leading to upregulation in VSELs of H19 and p57(KIP2) (also known as Cdkn1c) and repression of Igf2 and Rasgrf1 explain VSEL's quiescent status. Interestingly, this unique pattern in imprinted gene methylation is reverted in cocultures with a C2C12 supportive cell-line when VSELs are induced to form VSEL-derived spheres (VSEL-DSs) enriched for stem cells able to differentiate into all three germ layers. Therefore, we suggest that the proliferative/developmental potential of Oct4(+) VSELs is epigenetically regulated by expression of Oct4 and some imprinted genes, and postulate that restoring the proper methylation pattern of imprinted genes will be a crucial step for using these cells in regenerative medicine.
Project description:AIM:To study the expression of embryonal markers by fetal cardiac mesenchymal stem cells (fC-MSC) and their differentiation into cells of all the germ layers. METHODS:Ten independent cultures of rat fC-MSC were set up from cells derived from individual or pooled fetal hearts and studies given below were carried out at passages 3, 6, 15 and 21. The phenotypic markers CD29, CD31, CD34, CD45, CD73, CD90, CD105, CD166 and HLA-DR were analyzed by flow cytometry. The expression of embryonal markers Oct-4, Nanog, Sox-2, SSEA-1, SSEA-3, SSEA-4, TRA-1-60 and TRA 1-81 were studied by immunocytochemistry. The fC-MSC treated with specific induction medium were evaluated for their differentiation into (1) adipocytes and osteocytes (mesodermal cells) by Oil Red O and Alizarin Red staining, respectively, as well as by expression of lipoprotein lipase, PPAR?2 genes in adipocytes and osteopontin and RUNX2 genes in osteocytes by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR); (2) neuronal (ectodermal) cells by expression of neuronal Filament-160 and Glial Fibrillar Acidic Protein by RT-PCR and immunocytochemistry; and (3) hepatocytic (endodermal) cells by expression of albumin by RT-PCR and immunocytochemistry, glycogen deposits by Periodic Acid Schiff staining and excretion of urea into the culture supernatant. RESULTS:The fC-MSC expressed CD29, CD73, CD90, CD105, CD166 but lacked expression of CD31, CD34, CD45 and HLA-DR. They expressed embryonal markers, viz. Oct-4, Nanog, Sox-2, SSEA-1, SSEA-3, SSEA-4, TRA-1-81 but not TRA-1-60. On treatment with specific induction media, they differentiated into adipocytes and osteocytes, neuronal cells and hepatocytic cells. CONCLUSION:Our results together suggest that fC-MSC are primitive stem cell types with a high degree of plasticity and, in addition to their suitability for cardiovascular regenerative therapy, they may have a wide spectrum of therapeutic applications in regenerative medicine.