Current methods for the isolation of fibroblasts require extended ex vivo manipulation in cell culture. As a consequence, prior studies investigating fibroblast biology may fail to adequately represent cellular phenotypes in vivo. To overcome this problem, we describe a detailed protocol for the isolation of fibroblasts from the dorsal dermis of mice that bypasses the need for cell culture thereby preserving the physiologic transcriptional and proteomic profiles of each cell. Using the described protocol we characterized the transcriptional programs and the surface expression of 176 CD markers in cultured vs. uncultured fibroblasts. The differential expression patterns we observed highlight the importance of a live harvest for investigations of fibroblast biology.
The requirement and influence of the peripheral nervous system on tissue replacement in mammalian appendages remain largely undefined. To explore this question, we have performed genetic lineage tracing and clonal analysis of individual cells of mouse hind limb tissues devoid of nerve supply during regeneration of the digit tip, normal maintenance, and cutaneous wound healing. We show that cellular turnover, replacement, and cellular differentiation from presumed tissue stem/progenitor cells within hind limb tissues remain largely intact independent of nerve and nerve-derived factors. However, regenerated digit tips in the absence of nerves displayed patterning defects in bone and nail matrix. These nerve-dependent phenotypes mimic clinical observations of patients with nerve damage resulting from spinal cord injury and are of significant interest for translational medicine aimed at understanding the effects of nerves on etiologies of human injury.
The exact nature of the immune response elicited by autologous-induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) progeny is still not well understood. Here we show in murine models that autologous iPSC-derived endothelial cells (iECs) elicit an immune response that resembles the one against a comparable somatic cell, the aortic endothelial cell (AEC). These cells exhibit long-term survival in vivo and prompt a tolerogenic immune response characterized by elevated IL-10 expression. In contrast, undifferentiated iPSCs elicit a very different immune response with high lymphocytic infiltration and elevated IFN-?, granzyme-B and perforin intragraft. Furthermore, the clonal structure of infiltrating T cells from iEC grafts is statistically indistinguishable from that of AECs, but is different from that of undifferentiated iPSC grafts. Taken together, our results indicate that the differentiation of iPSCs results in a loss of immunogenicity and leads to the induction of tolerance, despite expected antigen expression differences between iPSC-derived versus original somatic cells.
The mechanism and magnitude by which the mammalian kidney generates and maintains its proximal tubules, distal tubules, and collecting ducts remain controversial. Here, we use long-term in vivo genetic lineage tracing and clonal analysis of individual cells from kidneys undergoing development, maintenance, and regeneration. We show that the adult mammalian kidney undergoes continuous tubulogenesis via expansions of fate-restricted clones. Kidneys recovering from damage undergo tubulogenesis through expansions of clones with segment-specific borders, and renal spheres developing in vitro from individual cells maintain distinct, segment-specific fates. Analysis of mice derived by transfer of color-marked embryonic stem cells (ESCs) into uncolored blastocysts demonstrates that nephrons are polyclonal, developing from expansions of singly fated clones. Finally, we show that adult renal clones are derived from Wnt-responsive precursors, and their tracing in vivo generates tubules that are segment specific. Collectively, these analyses demonstrate that fate-restricted precursors functioning as unipotent progenitors continuously maintain and self-preserve the mouse kidney throughout life.
Metastasis is the leading cause of morbidity for lung cancer patients. Here we demonstrate that murine tumor propagating cells (TPCs) with the markers Sca1 and CD24 are enriched for metastatic potential in orthotopic transplantation assays. CD24 knockdown decreased the metastatic potential of lung cancer cell lines resembling TPCs. In lung cancer patient data sets, metastatic spread and patient survival could be stratified with a murine lung TPC gene signature. The TPC signature was enriched for genes in the Hippo signaling pathway. Knockdown of the Hippo mediators Yap1 or Taz decreased in vitro cellular migration and transplantation of metastatic disease. Furthermore, constitutively active Yap was sufficient to drive lung tumor progression in vivo. These results demonstrate functional roles for two different pathways, CD24-dependent and Yap/Taz-dependent pathways, in lung tumor propagation and metastasis. This study demonstrates the utility of TPCs for identifying molecules contributing to metastatic lung cancer, potentially enabling the therapeutic targeting of this devastating disease.
Harvesting adipose-derived stromal cells (ASCs) for tissue engineering is frequently done through liposuction. However, several different techniques exist. Although third-generation ultrasound-assisted liposuction has been shown to not have a negative effect on ASCs, the impact of laser-assisted liposuction on the quality and differentiation potential of ASCs has not been studied. Therefore, ASCs were harvested from laser-assisted lipoaspirate and suction-assisted lipoaspirate. Next, in vitro parameters of cell yield, cell viability and proliferation, surface marker phenotype, osteogenic differentiation, and adipogenic differentiation were performed. Finally, in vivo bone formation was assessed using a critical-sized cranial defect in athymic nude mice. Although ASCs isolated from suction-assisted lipoaspirate and laser-assisted lipoaspirate both successfully underwent osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation, the cell yield, viability, proliferation, and frequency of ASCs (CD34(+)CD31(-)CD45(-)) in the stromal vascular fraction were all significantly less with laser-assisted liposuction in vitro (p < .05). In vivo, quantification of osseous healing by micro-computed tomography revealed significantly more healing with ASCs isolated from suction-assisted lipoaspirate relative to laser-assisted lipoaspirate at the 4-, 6-, and 8-week time points (p < .05). Therefore, as laser-assisted liposuction appears to negatively impact the biology of ASCs, cell harvest using suction-assisted liposuction is preferable for tissue-engineering purposes.
Tissue regeneration using progenitor cell-based therapy has the potential to aid in the healing of a diverse range of pathologies, ranging from short-gut syndrome to spinal cord lesions. However, there are numerous hurdles to be overcome prior to the widespread application of these cells in the clinical setting. One of the primary barriers to effective stem cell therapy is the hostile environment that progenitor cells encounter in the clinical injury wound setting. In order to promote cellular survival, stem cell differentiation, and participation in tissue regeneration, relevant cells and delivery scaffolds must be paired with strategies to prevent cell death to ensure that these cells can survive to form de novo tissue. The Bcl-2 protein is a prosurvival member of a family of proteins that regulate the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis. Using several strategies to overexpress the Bcl-2 protein, we demonstrated a decrease in the mediators of apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. This was shown through the use of two different clinical tissue repair models. Cells overexpressing Bcl-2 not only survived within the wound environment at a statistically significantly higher rate than control cells, but also increased tissue regeneration. Finally, we used a nonintegrating minicircle technology to achieve this in a potentially clinically applicable strategy for stem cell therapy.
Wound healing is a complex biological process involving the interaction of many cell types to replace lost or damaged tissue. Although the biology of wound healing has been extensively investigated, few studies have focused on the role of mast cells. In this study, we investigated the possible role of mast cells in wound healing by analyzing aspects of cutaneous excisional wound healing in three types of genetically mast cell-deficient mice. We found that C57BL/6-Kit(W-sh/W-sh), WBB6F1-Kit(W/W-v), and Cpa3-Cre; Mcl-1(fl/fl) mice re-epithelialized splinted excisional skin wounds at rates very similar to those in the corresponding wild type or control mice. Furthermore, at the time of closure, scars were similar in the genetically mast cell-deficient mice and the corresponding wild type or control mice in both quantity of collagen deposition and maturity of collagen fibers, as evaluated by Massons Trichrome and Picro-Sirius red staining. These data indicate that mast cells do not play a significant non-redundant role in these features of the healing of splinted full thickness excisional cutaneous wounds in mice.
Stem cell-based bone tissue engineering with adipose-derived stromal cells (ASCs) has shown great promise for revolutionizing treatment of large bone deficits. However, there is still a lack of consensus on cell surface markers identifying osteoprogenitors. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting has identified a subpopulation of CD105(low) cells with enhanced osteogenic differentiation. The purpose of the present study was to compare the ability of CD90 (Thy-1) to identify osteoprogenitors relative to CD(105).
The potential for stem cells to serve as cellular building blocks for reconstruction of complex defects has prompted significant enthusiasm in the field of regenerative medicine. Clinical application, however, is still limited, as implantation of cells into hostile wound environments may greatly hinder their tissue forming capacity. To circumvent this obstacle, novel approaches have been developed to manipulate both the stem cell itself and its surrounding environmental niche. By understanding this paradigm of seed and soil optimization, innovative strategies may thus be developed to harness the true promise of stem cells for tissue regeneration.
Although autologous fat grafting has revolutionized the field of soft tissue reconstruction and augmentation, long-term maintenance of fat grafts is unpredictable. Recent studies have reported survival rates of fat grafts to vary anywhere between 10% and 80% over time. The present study evaluated the long-term viability of human fat grafts in a murine model using a novel imaging technique allowing for in vivo volumetric analysis.
An urgent need exists in clinical medicine for suitable alternatives to available techniques for bone tissue repair. Human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) represent a readily available, autogenous cell source with well-documented in vivo osteogenic potential. In this article, we manipulated Noggin expression levels in hASCs using lentiviral and nonintegrating minicircle short hairpin ribonucleic acid (shRNA) methodologies in vitro and in vivo to enhance hASC osteogenesis. Human ASCs with Noggin knockdown showed significantly increased bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling and osteogenic differentiation both in vitro and in vivo, and when placed onto a BMP-releasing scaffold embedded with lentiviral Noggin shRNA particles, hASCs more rapidly healed mouse calvarial defects. This study therefore suggests that genetic targeting of hASCs combined with custom scaffold design can optimize hASCs for skeletal regenerative medicine.
Clinically available sources of bone for repair and reconstruction are limited by the accessibility of autologous grafts, infectious risks of cadaveric materials, and durability of synthetic substitutes. Cell-based approaches for skeletal regeneration can potentially fill this need, and adipose tissue represents a promising source for development of such therapies. Here, we enriched for an osteogenic subpopulation of cells derived from human subcutaneous adipose tissue utilizing microfluidic-based single cell transcriptional analysis and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). Statistical analysis of single cell transcriptional profiles demonstrated that low expression of endoglin (CD105) correlated with a subgroup of adipose-derived cells with increased osteogenic gene expression. FACS-sorted CD105(low) cells demonstrated significantly enhanced in vitro osteogenic differentiation and in vivo bone regeneration when compared with either CD105(high) or unsorted cells. Evaluation of the endoglin pathway suggested that enhanced osteogenesis among CD105(low) adipose-derived cells is likely due to identification of a subpopulation with lower TGF-?1/Smad2 signaling. These findings thus highlight a potential avenue to promote osteogenesis in adipose-derived mesenchymal cells for skeletal regeneration.
Human adipose-derived stromal cells (hASCs) have a proven capacity to aid in osseous repair of calvarial defects. However, the bone defect microenvironment necessary for osseous healing is not fully understood. In this study, we postulated that the cell-cell interaction between engrafted ASCs and host dura mater (DM) cells is critical for the healing of calvarial defects. hASCs were engrafted into critical sized calvarial mouse defects. The DM-hASC interaction was manipulated surgically by DM removal or by insertion of a semipermeable or nonpermeable membrane between DM and hASCs. Radiographic, histologic, and gene expression analyses were performed. Next, the hASC-DM interaction is assessed by conditioned media (CM) and coculture assays. Finally, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling from DM was investigated in vivo using novel BMP-2 and anti-BMP-2/4 slow releasing scaffolds. With intact DM, osseous healing occurs both from host DM and engrafted hASCs. Interference with the DM-hASC interaction dramatically reduced calvarial healing with abrogated BMP-2-Smad-1/5 signaling. Using CM and coculture assays, mouse DM cells stimulated hASC osteogenesis via BMP signaling. Through in vivo manipulation of the BMP-2 pathway, we found that BMP-2 plays an important role in DM stimulation of hASC osteogenesis in the context of calvarial bone healing. BMP-2 supplementation to a defect with disrupted DM allowed for bone formation in a nonhealing defect. DM is an osteogenic cell type that both participates in and stimulates osseous healing in a hASC-engrafted calvarial defect. Furthermore, DM-derived BMP-2 paracrine stimulation appears to play a key role for hASC mediated repair.
Huntingtons disease (HD) is a dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disease caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the first exon of the gene Huntingtin (Htt). A dramatic pathological change in HD is the massive loss of striatal neurons as the disease progresses. A useful advance in HD would be the generation of a human-derived HD model to use for drug screening and understanding mechanisms of HD. We utilized the recently established human iPS cell line derived from HD patient fibroblasts to derive neuronal precursors and human striatal neurons. To achieve this goal, the differentiation of the HD-iPS cells into striatal fate required several steps. First, we generated nestin+/PAX6+/SOX1+/OCT4- neural stem cells (NSCs) from HD-iPS cells using the method of embryoid body formation. HD-NSCs were then subjected to a differentiation condition combining morphogens and neurotrophins to induce striatal lineage commitment. Striatal neuronal precursors/immature neurons stained with ?-III tubulin, calbindin and GABA but not DARPP-32 (dopamine- and cyclic AMP-regulated phosphoprotein, Mr = 32,000) were produced in this step. Finally, maturation and terminal differentiation of the striatal neuronal precursors/immature neurons resulted in striatal neurons expressing markers like DARPP-32. The HD-iPS cells derived striatal neurons and neuronal precursors contain the same CAG expansion as the mutation in the HD patient from whom the iPS cell line was established. Moreover, the HD-NSCs showed enhanced caspase activity upon growth factor deprivation compared to normal NSCs (from iPS or H9 NSCs). Therefore, these differentiated cells may produce a human HD cell model useful in the study of HD mechanisms and drug screening.
Pierre Robin sequence and Treacher Collins syndrome are both associated with mandibular hypoplasia. It has been hypothesized, however, that the mandible may be differentially affected. The purpose of this study was to therefore compare mandibular morphology in children with Pierre Robin sequence with children with Treacher Collins syndrome using three-dimensional analysis of computed tomographic scans. A retrospective analysis was performed identifying children with Pierre Robin sequence and Treacher Collins syndrome undergoing computed tomography. Three-dimensional reconstruction was performed, and ramus height, mandibular body length, and gonial angle were measured. These were then compared with those in control children with normal mandibles and with the clinical norms corrected for age and sex based on previously published measurements. Mandibular body length was found to be significantly shorter for children with Pierre Robin sequence, whereas ramus height was significantly shorter for children with Treacher Collins syndrome. This resulted in distinctly different ramus height-mandibular body length ratios. In addition, the gonial angle was more obtuse in both the Pierre Robin sequence and Treacher Collins syndrome groups compared with the controls. Three-dimensional mandibular morphometric analysis in patients with Pierre Robin sequence and Treacher Collins syndrome thus revealed distinctly different patterns of mandibular hypoplasia relative to normal controls. These findings underscore distinct considerations that must be made in surgical planning for reconstruction.
Although mechanical osteotomies are frequently made on the craniofacial skeleton, collateral thermal, and mechanical trauma to adjacent bone tissue causes cell death and may delay healing. The present study evaluated the use of plasma-mediated laser ablation using a femtosecond laser to circumvent thermal damage and improve bone regeneration.
Pluripotent cells represent a powerful tool for tissue regeneration, but their clinical utility is limited by their propensity to form teratomas. Little is known about their interaction with the surrounding niche following implantation and how this may be applied to promote survival and functional engraftment. In this study, we evaluated the ability of an osteogenic microniche consisting of a hydroxyapatite-coated, bone morphogenetic protein-2-releasing poly-L-lactic acid scaffold placed within the context of a macroenvironmental skeletal defect to guide in vivo differentiation of both embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. In this setting, we found de novo bone formation and participation by implanted cells in skeletal regeneration without the formation of a teratoma. This finding suggests that local cues from both the implanted scaffold/cell micro- and surrounding macroniche may act in concert to promote cellular survival and the in vivo acquisition of a terminal cell fate, thereby allowing for functional engraftment of pluripotent cells into regenerating tissue.
Angiogenesis is essential to wound repair, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent factor to stimulate angiogenesis. Here, we examine the potential of VEGF-overexpressing adipose-derived stromal cells (ASCs) for accelerating wound healing using nonviral, biodegradable polymeric vectors. Mouse ASCs were transfected with DNA plasmid encoding VEGF or green fluorescent protein (GFP) using biodegradable poly (?-amino) esters (PBAE). Cells transfected using Lipofectamine 2000, a commercially available transfection reagent, were included as controls. ASCs transfected using PBAEs showed enhanced transfection efficiency and 12-15-fold higher VEGF production compared with cells transfected using Lipofectamine 2000 (*P < 0.05). When transplanted into a mouse wild-type excisional wound model, VEGF-overexpressing ASCs led to significantly accelerated wound healing, with full wound closure observed at 8 days compared to 10-12 days in groups treated with ASCs alone or saline control (*P < 0.05). Histology and polarized microscopy showed increased collagen deposition and more mature collagen fibers in the dermis of wound beds treated using PBAE/VEGF-modified ASCs than ASCs alone. Our results demonstrate the efficacy of using nonviral-engineered ASCs to accelerate wound healing, which may provide an alternative therapy for treating many diseases in which wound healing is impaired.
Craniosynostosis is a common congenital defect caused by premature fusion of cranial sutures. The severe morphologic abnormalities and cognitive deficits resulting from craniosynostosis and the potential morbidity of surgical correction espouse the need for a deeper understanding of the complex etiology for this condition. Work in animal models for the past 20 years has been pivotal in advancing our understanding of normal suture biology and elucidating pathologic disease mechanisms. This article provides an overview of milestone studies in suture development, embryonic origins, and signaling mechanisms from an array of animal models including transgenic mice, rats, rabbits, fetal sheep, zebrafish, and frogs. This work contributes to an ongoing effort toward continued development of novel treatment strategies.
The ability to use progenitor cells for regenerative medicine remains an evolving but elusive clinical goal. A serious obstacle towards widespread use of stem cells for tissue regeneration is the challenges that face these cells when they are placed in vivo into a wound for therapy. These environments are hypoxic, acidic, and have an upregulation of inflammatory mediators creating a region that is hostile towards cellular survival. Within this environment, the majority of progenitor cells undergo apoptosis prior to participating in lineage differentiation and cellular integration. In order to maximize the clinical utility of stem cells, strategies must be employed to increase the cells ability to survive in vivo through manipulation of both the stem cell and the surrounding environment. This review focuses on current advances and techniques being used to increase in vivo stem cell survival for the purpose of tissue regeneration.
Craniofacial skeletal repair and regeneration offers the promise of de novo tissue formation through a cell-based approach utilizing stem cells. Adipose-derived stromal cells (ASCs) have proven to be an abundant source of multipotent stem cells capable of undergoing osteogenic, chondrogenic, adipogenic, and myogenic differentiation. Many studies have explored the osteogenic potential of these cells in vivo with the use of various scaffolding biomaterials for cellular delivery. It has been demonstrated that by utilizing an osteoconductive, hydroxyapatite-coated poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (HA-PLGA) scaffold seeded with ASCs, a critical-sized calvarial defect, a defect that is defined by its inability to undergo spontaneous healing over the lifetime of the animal, can be effectively show robust osseous regeneration. This in vivo model demonstrates the basis of translational approaches aimed to regenerate the bone tissue - the cellular component and biological matrix. This method serves as a model for the ultimate clinical application of a progenitor cell towards the repair of a specific tissue defect.
Huntingtons disease (HD) is caused by a CAG expansion in the huntingtin gene. Expansion of the polyglutamine tract in the huntingtin protein results in massive cell death in the striatum of HD patients. We report that human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from HD patient fibroblasts can be corrected by the replacement of the expanded CAG repeat with a normal repeat using homologous recombination, and that the correction persists in iPSC differentiation into DARPP-32-positive neurons in vitro and in vivo. Further, correction of the HD-iPSCs normalized pathogenic HD signaling pathways (cadherin, TGF-?, BDNF, and caspase activation) and reversed disease phenotypes such as susceptibility to cell death and altered mitochondrial bioenergetics in neural stem cells. The ability to make patient-specific, genetically corrected iPSCs from HD patients will provide relevant disease models in identical genetic backgrounds and is a critical step for the eventual use of these cells in cell replacement therapy.
The phenomenon of tissue regeneration has been well documented across many species. Although some possess the capacity to completely restore an entire amputated limb, others are limited to just the distal digit tip. Initiation of limb regeneration has been described to start with the formation of a blastema, the composition of which has long been thought to consist of undifferentiated pluripotent cells derived through the process of dedifferentiation. Competing theories have been proposed, however, including cellular contributions through transdifferentiation and tissue-specific stem cells. Recent studies have now begun to shed light on this controversy, demonstrating tissue resident stem cells to be an evolutionarily conserved measure for limb regeneration.
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