Australian Stem Cell Center

Clayton, Australia

Australian Stem Cell Center

Clayton, Australia

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Grassinger J.,Australian Stem Cell Center | Grassinger J.,Monash University | Haylock D.N.,Monash University | Haylock D.N.,CSIRO | And 4 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2010

Hemopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside within a specified area of the bone marrow (BM) cavity called a "niche" that modulates HSC quiescence, proliferation, differentiation, and migration. Our previous studies have identified the endosteal BM region as the site for the HSC niche and demonstrated that hemopoietic stem and progenitor populations (HSPCs, LSK) isolated from different BM regions exhibit significantly different hemopoietic potential. In this study, we have analyzed subpopulations of LSK cells isolated from different regions of the BM and showed that CD150 +CD48 -LSK HSCs within the endosteal BM region have superior proliferative capacity and homing efficiency compared with CD150 +CD48 -LSK HSCs isolated from the central BM. Furthermore, we show, for the first time, that a subset of CD150 +CD48 +LSK progenitor cells, previously defined as B-lymphoid primed hemopoietic cells, are capable of multilineage reconstitution, however, only when isolated from the endosteal region. In addition, we provide evidence for an unrecognized role of CD48 in HSC homing. Together, our data provide strong evidence that highly purified HSCs show functional differences depending on their origin within the BM and that the most primitive HSCs reside within the endosteal BM region. © 2010 by The American Society of Hematology.


Teisanu R.M.,Duke University | Chen H.,Duke University | Matsumoto K.,Duke University | McQualter J.L.,Australian Stem Cell Center | And 6 more authors.
American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology | Year: 2011

Air spaces of the mammalian lung are lined by a specialized epithelium that is maintained by endogenous progenitor cells. Within bronchioles, the abundance and distribution of progenitor cells that contribute to epithelial homeostasis change as a function of maintenance versus repair. It is unclear whether functionally distinct progenitor pools or a single progenitor cell type maintain the epithelium and how the behavior is regulated in normal or disease states. To address these questions, we applied fractionation methods for the enrichment of distal airway progenitors. We show that bronchiolar progenitor cells can be subdivided into two functionally distinct populations that differ in their susceptibility to injury and contribution to repair. The proliferative capacity of these progenitors is confirmed in a novel in vitro assay. We show that both populations give rise to colonies with a similar dependence on stromal cell interactions and regulation by TGF-β. These findings provide additional insights into mechanisms of epithelial remodeling in the setting of chronic lung disease and offer hope that pharmacologic interventions may be developed to mitigate tissue remodeling.


Ellis S.L.,Peter MacCallum Cancer Center | Ellis S.L.,Australian Stem Cell Center | Ellis S.L.,University of Melbourne | Grassinger J.,University of Regensburg | And 7 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2011

A large body of evidence suggests hemopoietic stem cells (HSCs) exist in an endosteal niche close to bone, whereas others suggest that the HSC niche is intimately associated with vasculature. In this study, we show that transplanted hemopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) home preferentially to the trabecular-rich metaphysis of the femurs in nonablated mice at all time points from 15 minutes to 15 hours after transplantation. Within this region, they exist in an endosteal niche in close association with blood vessels. The preferential homing of HSPCs to the metaphysis occurs rapidly after transplantation, suggesting that blood vessels within this region may express a unique repertoire of endothelial adhesive molecules. One candidate is hyaluronan (HA), which is highly expressed on the blood vessel endothelium in the metaphysis. Analysis of the early stages of homing and the spatial distribution of transplanted HSPCs at the single-cell level in mice devoid of Has3-synthesized HA, provides evidence for a previously undescribed role for HA expressed on endothelial cells in directing the homing of HSPCs to the metaphysis. © 2011 by The American Society of Hematology.


Chung T.-L.,University of Queensland | Chung T.-L.,Australian Stem Cell Center | Chung T.-L.,Monash Institute of Medical Research | Turner J.P.,University of Queensland | And 6 more authors.
Stem Cells | Year: 2010

Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells have the ability to adapt to various culture conditions. Phenotypic and epigenetic changes brought about by the culture conditions can, however, have significant impacts on their use in research and in clinical applications. Here, we show that diploid hESCs start to express CD30, a biomarker for malignant cells in Hodgkin's disease and embryonal carcinoma cells, when cultured in knockout serum replacement (KOSR)-based medium, but not in fetal calf serum containing medium. We identify the commonly used medium additive, ascorbate, as the sole medium component in KOSR responsible for CD30 induction. Our data show that this epigenetic activation of CD30 expression in hESCs by ascorbate occurs through a dramatic loss of DNA methylation of a CpG island in the CD30 promoter. Analysis of the pheno-type and transcriptome of hESCs that overexpress the CD30 signaling domain reveals that CD30 signaling leads to inhibition of apoptosis, enhanced single-cell growth, and transcriptome changes that are associated with cell signaling, lipid metabolism, and tissue development. Collectively, our data show that hESC culture media that contain ascorbate trigger CD30 expression through an epigenetic mechanism and that this provides a survival advantage and transcriptome changes that may help adapt hESCs to in vitro culture conditions. © AlphaMed Press.


Chung T.-L.,University of Queensland | Chung T.-L.,Australian Stem Cell Center | Chung T.-L.,Monash Institute of Medical Research | Brena R.M.,University of Southern California | And 6 more authors.
Stem Cells | Year: 2010

Vitamin C (ascorbate) is a widely used medium supplement in embryonic stem cell culture. Here, we show that ascorbate causes widespread, consistent, and remarkably specific DNA demethylation of 1,847 genes in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), including important stem cell genes, with a clear bias toward demethylation at CpG island boundaries. We show that a subset of these DNA demethylated genes displays concomitant gene expression changes and that the position of the demethylated CpGs relative to the transcription start site is correlated to such changes. We further show that the ascorbate-demethylated gene set not only overlaps with gene sets that have bivalent marks, but also with the gene sets that are demethylated during differentiation of hESCs and during reprogramming of fibroblasts to induced pluritotent stem cells (iPSCs). Our data thus identify a novel link between ascorbate-mediated signaling and specific epigenetic changes in hESCs that might impact on pluripotency and reprogramming pathways. © AlphaMed Press.


Lusis M.,University of Queensland | Lusis M.,Australian Stem Cell Center | Li J.,University of Queensland | Li J.,Australian Stem Cell Center | And 6 more authors.
Stem Cell Research | Year: 2010

A tissue stem cell should exhibit long-term self-renewal, clonogenicity and a capacity to differentiate into the tissue of origin. Such a postnatal renal stem cell has not been formally identified. The metanephric mesenchyme (MM) of the developing kidney gives rise to both the renal interstitium and the nephrons and is regarded as the progenitor population of the developing kidney. However, isolated MM does not self renew and requires immortalization for survival in culture. Here we report the isolation and sustained culture of long-term repopulating, clonal progenitors from the embryonic kidney as free floating nephrospheres. Such cells displayed clonal self renewal for in excess of twenty passages when cultured with bFGF and thrombin, showed broad mesodermal multipotentiality, but retained expression of key renal transcription factors (Wt1, Sall1, Eya1, Six1, Six2, Osr1 and Hoxa11). While these cells did display limited capacity to contribute to developing embryonic kidney explants, nephrospheres did not display in vitro renal epithelial capacity. Nephrospheres could be cultured from both Sall1+ and Sall1- fractions of embryonic kidney, suggesting that they were derived from the MM as a whole and not specifically the MM-derived cap mesenchyme committed to nephron formation. This embryonic renal stem cell population was not able to be isolated from postnatal kidney confirming that while the embryonic MM represents a mulitpotent stem cell population, this does not persist after birth. Crown Copyright © 2010.


Briggs J.A.,University of Queensland | Sun J.,University of Queensland | Shepherd J.,University of Queensland | Ovchinnikov D.A.,University of Queensland | And 9 more authors.
Stem Cells | Year: 2013

Down syndrome (DS) is the most frequent cause of human congenital mental retardation. Cognitive deficits in DS result from perturbations of normal cellular processes both during development and in adult tissues, but the mechanisms underlying DS etiology remain poorly understood. To assess the ability of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to model DS phenotypes, as a prototypical complex human disease, we generated bona fide DS and wild-type (WT) nonviral iPSCs by episomal reprogramming. DS iPSCs selectively overexpressed chromosome 21 genes, consistent with gene dosage, which was associated with deregulation of thousands of genes throughout the genome. DS and WT iPSCs were neurally converted at >95% efficiency and had remarkably similar lineage potency, differentiation kinetics, proliferation, and axon extension at early time points. However, at later time points DS cultures showed a twofold bias toward glial lineages. Moreover, DS neural cultures were up to two times more sensitive to oxidative stress-induced apoptosis, and this could be prevented by the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine. Our results reveal a striking complexity in the genetic alterations caused by trisomy 21 that are likely to underlie DS developmental phenotypes, and indicate a central role for defective early glial development in establishing developmental defects in DS brains. Furthermore, oxidative stress sensitivity is likely to contribute to the accelerated neurodegeneration seen in DS, and we provide proof of concept for screening corrective therapeutics using DS iPSCs and their derivatives. Nonviral DS iPSCs can therefore model features of complex human disease in vitro and provide a renewable and ethically unencumbered discovery platform. © AlphaMed Press.


Peura T.T.,Australian Stem Cell Center | Schaft J.,Australian Stem Cell Center | Stojanov T.,Australian Stem Cell Center
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) | Year: 2010

Human embryonic stem cell lines are usually derived from human embryos that have become excess to clinical needs in assisted reproduction programs, whether because the couple in question has completed their family or because the embryo was found to be clinically unsuitable for transfer due to severe genetic condition (in case of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, PGD). Culturing embryos to a blastocyst stage (5-6 days after IVF) before embryo transfer or cryopreservation instead of earlier commonly used 8-cell stage (3 days after IVF) calls for new methods for embryo cryopreservation and allows higher efficiencies for the actual stem cell derivation. Despite the vast advances in other fields of embryonic stem cell research, methods for derivation of new lines have not changed much over the years, mainly due to scarcity of embryos limiting experimentation. We describe here methods required to derive new embryonic stem cell lines starting from the initial cryopreservation of an embryo and finishing with a new cell line. We cover embryo cryopreservation and warming using a highly efficient vitrification method, the production of feeder cells and feeder plates, as well as embryo handling, plating and critical early passages, including earliest possible cryopreservation of putative stem cells using vitrification.


Wang Y.,Australian Stem Cell Center | Umeda K.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Nakayama N.,Australian Stem Cell Center | Nakayama N.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Stem Cell Research | Year: 2010

Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are generated by nuclear reprogramming of mature cells to a pluripotent state, and show biological properties of embryonic stem (ES) cells. The observation that human (h)ES cells generate hemoangiogenic progeny, defined by their high-level expression of KDR and low-level expression of PDGFRα (KDR+PDGFRαlo) via WNT and BMP signaling during 5-8 days of differentiation in a serum-free environment led us to address how hiPS cells give rise to hemoangiogenic progeny. In the presence of WNT3a, four hiPS cell lines derived from human skin fibroblasts commonly generated KDR+ and/or PDGFRα+ progeny by day 8 of differentiation. Endogenous BMP signaling was required for the WNT3a-directed upregulation of hemogenic cell development and the hemoangiogenic activity was confined in all cases to the KDR+PDGFRαlo fraction. Thus, iPS cells derived from human skin fibroblasts resemble hES cells in the generation of hematopoietic and endothelial cells in vitro. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Sambrook J.,Australian Stem Cell Center
Australasian Biotechnology | Year: 2010

Stem cell science has captured the imagination of the public like no other scientific field in recent times. A mix of hype and breathtaking scientific breakthroughs has combined to create hope and expectation that it may one day provide a cure for currently incurable diseases and injuries. However, as researchers and regulators move forward cautiously, the public is becoming impatient.

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