Stem Cells International
 Journal metrics
Acceptance rate44%
Submission to final decision76 days
Acceptance to publication35 days
CiteScore7.200
Journal Citation Indicator0.770
Impact Factor5.443

Article of the Year 2020

Paracrine Mechanisms of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Angiogenesis

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 Journal profile

Stem Cells International publishes papers in all areas of stem cell biology and applications. The journal publishes basic, translational, and clinical research, including animal models and clinical trials.

 Editor spotlight

Chief Editor Professor Li has a background in cardiac stem cell transplantation, using young stem cells to promote tissue repair following injury to rejuvenate the aged individual, and the development of biomaterials that can easily integrate into damaged heart tissue.

 Special Issues

We currently have a number of Special Issues open for submission. Special Issues highlight emerging areas of research within a field, or provide a venue for a deeper investigation into an existing research area.

Latest Articles

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Research Article

Apelin-13 Pretreatment Promotes the Cardioprotective Effect of Mesenchymal Stem Cells against Myocardial Infarction by Improving Their Survival

Although mesenchymal stem cell- (MSC-) based therapy has shown promising results for myocardial infarction (MI), low cell survival heavily limits its beneficial effects. Apelin plays an essential regulatory role in cell proliferation. This study was aimed at determining whether Apelin-13 pretreatment could improve the survival of MSCs in the ischemic heart and enhance their cardioprotective efficacy against MI. MSCs were pretreated with or without Apelin-13 for 24 hours and then exposed to serum deprivation and hypoxia (SD/H) for 48 hours. The mitochondrial morphology of MSCs was assessed by MitoTracker staining. The apoptosis of MSCs was determined by TUNEL staining. The level of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) of MSCs was detected by Mito-Sox staining. MSCs and Apelin-13-pretreated MSCs were transplanted into the peri-infarct region in a mouse MI model. Apelin-13 pretreatment protected MSCs against SD/H-induced mitochondrial fragmentation and apoptosis. Apelin-13 pretreatment reduced ROS generation induced by SD/H in MSCs. Furthermore, Apelin-13 pretreatment enhanced the angiogenesis of MSCs under SD/H conditions. Mechanistically, Apelin-13 pretreatment inhibited SD/H-induced MSC apoptosis by downregulating mitochondrial fission via activation of the ERK pathway, and these effects were partially abrogated by ERK inhibitor U0126. Apelin-13 pretreatment promoted the survival of MSCs in the ischemic heart. Moreover, transplantation with Apelin-13-pretreated MSCs improved heart function and increased angiogenesis accompanied by decreased fibrosis compared with MSC transplantation at 28 days following MI. These findings reveal that pretreatment with Apelin-13 improves MSCs survival and enhances their therapeutic efficacy for MI. Our study provides a novel approach to improve MSC-based therapy for cardiovascular disease.

Research Article

Implantation of Hypoxia-Induced Mesenchymal Stem Cell Advances Therapeutic Angiogenesis

Hypoxia preconditioning enhances the paracrine abilities of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for vascular regeneration and tissue healing. Implantation of hypoxia-induced mesenchymal stem cells (hi-MSCs) may further improve limb perfusion in a murine model of hindlimb ischemia. This study is aimed at determining whether implantation of hi-MSCs is an effective modality for improving outcomes of treatment of ischemic artery diseases. We evaluated the effects of human bone marrow-derived MSC implantation on limb blood flow in an ischemic hindlimb model. hi-MSCs were prepared by cell culture under 1% oxygen for 24 hours prior to implantation. A total of MSCs and hi-MSCs and phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) were intramuscularly implanted into ischemic muscles at 36 hours after surgery. Restoration of blood flow and muscle perfusion was evaluated by laser Doppler perfusion imaging. Blood perfusion recovery, enhanced vessel densities, and improvement of function of the ischemia limb were significantly greater in the hi-MSC group than in the MSC or PBS group. Immunochemistry revealed that hi-MSCs had higher expression levels of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha and vascular endothelial growth factor A than those in MSCs. In addition, an endothelial cell-inducing medium showed high expression levels of vascular endothelial growth factor, platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1, and von Willebrand factor in hi-MSCs compared to those in MSCs. These findings suggest that pretreatment of MSCs with a hypoxia condition and implantation of hi-MSCs advances neovascularization capability with enhanced therapeutic angiogenic effects in a murine hindlimb ischemia model.

Research Article

Rcor2 Is Required for Somatic Differentiation and Represses Germline Cell Fate

Rcor2, the corepressor 2 of REST, a transcriptional repressor, is predominantly expressed in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and plays a major role in regulating ESC pluripotency and neurogenesis. The function of Rcor2 in development of other germ layers is yet unclear. We utilized a Rcor2-/- mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) line to investigate the role of Rcor2 in mESC differentiation. Rcor2-/- mESC shows reduced proliferation and severely compromised capacity to differentiate to all three germ layers. In contrast, Rcor2 knockout promotes primordial germ cells (PGCs) specific gene expression and possibly PGC formation. Mechanistically, we revealed that Rcor2 inhibits expression of genes required for PGC development, such as Dppa3 and Dazl, by associating to their promoters and enhancing local suppressive H3K9me3 modifications. Our results suggest that Rcor2 plays an important role in somatic cell fate determination by suppressing PGC differentiation through regulating epigenetic modifications of PGC specific genes.

Research Article

Periodic Heat Stress Licenses EMSC Differentiation into Osteoblasts via YAP Signaling Pathway Activation

Background. The repair and regeneration of large bone defects represent highly challenging tasks in bone tissue engineering. Although recent studies have shown that osteogenesis is stimulated by periodic heat stress, the thermal regulation of osteogenic differentiation in ectomesenchymal stem cells (EMSCs) is not well studied. Methods and Results. In this study, the direct effects of periodic heat stress on the differentiation of EMSCs into osteoblasts were investigated. EMSCs derived from rat nasal respiratory mucosa were seeded onto culture plates, followed by 1 h of heat stress at 41°C every 7 days during osteogenic differentiation. Based on the results of the present study, periodic heating increases alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, upregulates osteogenic-related proteins, and promotes EMSC mineralization. In particular, increased YAP nuclear translocation and YAP knockdown inhibited osteogenic differentiation induced by heat stress. Furthermore, the expression and activity of transglutaminase 2 (TG2) were significantly increased after YAP nuclear translocation. Conclusion. Together, these results indicate that YAP plays a key role in regulating cellular proteostasis under stressful cellular conditions by modulating the TG2 response.

Research Article

Crosslinked Decellularized Porcine Pericardium as a Substrate for Conjunctival Reconstruction

Seeking for suitable conjunctival reconstruction substitutes to overcome the limitations of current substitutes, such as amniotic membrane, is urgent. Decellularized tissues have become a promising strategy for tissue engineering. In this study, we prepared decellularized porcine pericardium (DPP) scaffolds by the phospholipase A2 method and crosslinked them with aspartic acid (Asp) and human endothelial growth factor (hEGF) to enhance biological performance on the DPP, obtaining DPP-Asp-hEGF scaffolds. In vitro DPP showed lower apoptosis, highly desirable, well preservation of extracellular matrix components, and favorable macro-microstructure, which was confirmed by histology, immunofluorescence, electron microscopy, collagen and DNA quantification, and cytotoxicity assay, compared to the native porcine pericardium (NPP). The crosslinked efficacy of the DPP-Asp-hEGF was furtherer verified by in vitro experiments with Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Through animal models of conjunctiva defect model, the DPP-Asp-hEGF revealed a closed, multilayer epithelium with an equal amount of goblet cells and no indication for conjunctival scarring after 28 days, compared to amniotic membrane (AM) groups and sham groups. These results suggested that DPP-Asp-hEGF can offer a good conjunctival reconstructive substitute both in structure and in function.

Review Article

Cancer Stem Cell Markers for Urinary Carcinoma

Cancer stem cell (CSC) refers to cancer cells with stem cell properties, that is, they have the ability of “self-renewal” and “differentiation.” Cancer stem cells exist in cancer cells and are the “culprit” of cancer recurrence and metastasis. It is difficult to be found because of its small amount, and it is difficult for anticancer drugs to produce effects on it. At present, the isolation and identification of cancer stem cells from many solid tumors are still quite difficult, mainly due to the lack of specific molecular markers of cancer stem cells. In this review, cancer stem cell surface markers and functional markers in urinary system were summarized. These markers can provide molecular targets for cancer therapy.

Stem Cells International
 Journal metrics
Acceptance rate44%
Submission to final decision76 days
Acceptance to publication35 days
CiteScore7.200
Journal Citation Indicator0.770
Impact Factor5.443
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Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2020, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.