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Pereira S.L.,University of Coimbra | Graos M.,Biocant Technology Transfer Association | Rodrigues A.S.,University of Coimbra | Anjo S.I.,University of Coimbra | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The mitochondrion is emerging as a key organelle in stem cell biology, acting as a regulator of stem cell pluripotency and differentiation. In this study we sought to understand the effect of mitochondrial complex III inhibition during neuronal differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells. When exposed to antimycin A, a specific complex III inhibitor, embryonic stem cells failed to differentiate into dopaminergic neurons, maintaining high Oct4 levels even when subjected to a specific differentiation protocol. Mitochondrial inhibition affected distinct populations of cells present in culture, inducing cell loss in differentiated cells, but not inducing apoptosis in mouse embryonic stem cells. A reduction in overall proliferation rate was observed, corresponding to a slight arrest in S phase. Moreover, antimycin A treatment induced a consistent increase in HIF-1α protein levels. The present work demonstrates that mitochondrial metabolism is critical for neuronal differentiation and emphasizes that modulation of mitochondrial functions through pharmacological approaches can be useful in the context of controlling stem cell maintenance/ differentiation. © 2013 Pereira et al.

Ribeiro A.,Portuguese Institute of the Blood and Transplantation | Laranjeira P.,Portuguese Institute of the Blood and Transplantation | Mendes S.,Portuguese Institute of the Blood and Transplantation | Velada I.,Portuguese Institute of the Blood and Transplantation | And 12 more authors.
Stem Cell Research and Therapy | Year: 2013

Introduction. The ability to self-renew, be easily expanded in vitro and differentiate into different mesenchymal tissues, render mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) an attractive therapeutic method for degenerative diseases. The subsequent discovery of their immunosuppressive ability encouraged clinical trials in graft-versus-host disease and auto-immune diseases. Despite sharing several immunophenotypic characteristics and functional capabilities, the differences between MSCs arising from different tissues are still unclear and the published data are conflicting. Methods. Here, we evaluate the influence of human MSCs derived from umbilical cord matrix (UCM), bone marrow (BM) and adipose tissue (AT), co-cultured with phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (MNC), on T, B and natural killer (NK) cell activation; T and B cells' ability to acquire lymphoblast characteristics; mRNA expression of interleukin-2 (IL-2), forkhead box P3 (FoxP3), T-bet and GATA binding protein 3 (GATA3), on purified T cells, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), perforin and granzyme B on purified NK cells. Results: MSCs derived from all three tissues were able to prevent CD4§ssup§+§ esup§ and CD8§ssup§+§esup§ T cell activation and acquisition of lymphoblast characteristics and CD56§ssup§dim§ esup§ NK cell activation, wherein AT-MSCs showed a stronger inhibitory effect. Moreover, AT-MSCs blocked the T cell activation process in an earlier phase than BM- or UCM-MSCs, yielding a greater proportion of T cells in the non-activated state. Concerning B cells and CD56§ssup§bright§ esup§ NK cells, UCM-MSCs did not influence either their activation kinetics or PHA-induced lymphoblast characteristics, conversely to BM- and AT-MSCs which displayed an inhibitory effect. Besides, when co-cultured with PHA-stimulated MNC, MSCs seem to promote Treg and Th1 polarization, estimated by the increased expression of FoxP3 and T-bet mRNA within purified activated T cells, and to reduce TNF-α and perforin production by activated NK cells. Conclusions: Overall, UCM-, BM- and AT-derived MSCs hamper T cell, B cell and NK cell-mediated immune response by preventing their acquisition of lymphoblast characteristics, activation and changing the expression profile of proteins with an important role in immune function, except UCM-MSCs showed no inhibitory effect on B cells under these experimental conditions. Despite the similarities between the three types of MSCs evaluated, we detect important differences that should be taken into account when choosing the MSC source for research or therapeutic purposes. © 2013 Ribeiro et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Leite C.,Biocant Technology Transfer Association | Silva N.T.,Biocant Technology Transfer Association | Mendes S.,Portuguese Institute of the Blood and Transplantation | Ribeiro A.,Portuguese Institute of the Blood and Transplantation | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are viewed as safe, readily available and promising adult stem cells, which are currently used in several clinical trials. Additionally, their soluble-factor secretion and multi-lineage differentiation capacities place MSCs in the forefront of stem cell types with expected near-future clinical applications. In the present work MSCs were isolated from the umbilical cord matrix (Wharton's jelly) of human umbilical cord samples. The cells were thoroughly characterized and confirmed as bona-fide MSCs, presenting in vitro low generation time, high proliferative and colony-forming unit-fibroblast (CFU-F) capacity, typical MSC immunophenotype and osteogenic, chondrogenic and adipogenic differentiation capacity. The cells were additionally subjected to an oligodendroglial-oriented step-wise differentiation protocol in order to test their neural- and oligodendroglial-like differentiation capacity. The results confirmed the neural-like plasticity of MSCs, and suggested that the cells presented an oligodendroglial-like phenotype throughout the differentiation protocol, in several aspects sharing characteristics common to those of bona-fide oligodendrocyte precursor cells and differentiated oligodendrocytes. Copyright © 2014 Leite et al.

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