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Scuderi N.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Ceccarelli S.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Onesti M.G.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Fioramonti P.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 5 more authors.
Cell Transplantation | Year: 2013

The present study was designed to evaluate the clinical outcome of cell-based therapy with cultured adipose-derived stromal cells (ASCs) for the treatment of cutaneous manifestations in patients affected by systemic sclerosis (SSc). ASCs have an extraordinary developmental plasticity, including the ability to undergo multilineage differentiation and self-renewal. Moreover, ASCs can be easily harvested from small volumes of liposuction aspirate, showing great in vitro viability and proliferation rate. Here we isolated, characterized, and expanded ASCs, assessing both their mesenchymal origin and their capability to differentiate towards the adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic lineage. We developed an effective method for ASCs transplantation into sclerodermic patients by means of a hyaluronic acid (HA) solution, which allowed us to achieve precise structural modifications. ASCs were isolated from subcutaneous adipose tissue of six sclerodermic patients and cultured in a chemical-defined medium before autologous transplantation to restore skin sequelae. The results indicated that transplantation of a combination of ASCs in HA solution determined a significant improvement in tightening of the skin without complications such as anechoic areas, fat necrosis, or infections, thus suggesting that ASCs are a potentially valuable source of cells for skin therapy in rare diseases such as SSc and generally in skin disorders. © 2013 Cognizant Comm. Corp.

Maioli M.,University of Sassari | Maioli M.,Italian National Institute of Biosystems and Biostructures | Rinaldi S.,Rinaldi Fontani Institute | Rinaldi S.,University of Florence | And 11 more authors.
Cell Transplantation | Year: 2012

Radiofrequency (RF) waves from Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) technologies have become ubiquitous, with Internet access spreading into homes, and public areas. The human body harbors multipotent stem cells with various grading of potentiality. Whether stem cells may be affected by Wi-Fi RF energy remains unknown. We exposed mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells to a Radio Electric Asymmetric Conveyer (REAC), an innovative device delivering Wi-Fi RF of 2.4 GHz with its conveyer electrodes immersed into the culture medium. Cell responses were investigated by real-time PCR, Western blot, and confocal microscopy. Single RF burst duration, radiated power, electric and magnetic fields, specific absorption rate, and current density in culture medium were monitored. REAC stimulation primed transcription of genes involved in cardiac (GATA4, Nkx-2.5, and prodynorphin), skeletal muscle (myoD) and neuronal (neurogenin1) commitment, while downregulating the self renewal/pluripotency-associated genes Sox2, Oct4, and Nanog. REAC exposure enhanced the expression of cardiac, skeletal, and neuronal lineage-restricted marker proteins. The number of spontaneously beating ES-derived myocardial cells was also increased. In conclusion, REAC stimulation provided a "physical milieu" optimizing stem cell expression of pluripotentiality and the attainment of three major target lineages for regenerative medicine, without using chemical agonists or vector-mediated gene delivery. © 2012 Cognizant Comm. Corp.

Maioli M.,University of Sassari | Maioli M.,University of Bologna | Santaniello S.,University of Sassari | Montella A.,University of Sassari | And 13 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: Development of molecules chemically modifying the expression of crucial orchestrator(s) of stem cell commitment may have significant biomedical impact. We have recently developed hyaluronan mixed esters of butyric and retinoic acids (HBR), turning cardiovascular stem cell fate into a high-yield process. The HBR mechanism(s) remain still largely undefined. Methodology/Principal Findings: We show that in both mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells and human mesenchymal stem cells from fetal membranes of term placenta (FMhMSCs), HBR differentially affected the patterning of Smad proteins, one of the major conductors of stem cell cardiogenesis. Real-time RT-PCR and Western blot analyses revealed that in both cell types HBR enhanced gene and protein expression of Smad1,3, and 4, while down-regulating Smad7. HBR acted at the transcriptional level, as shown by nuclear run-off experiments in isolated nuclei. Immunofluorescence analysis indicated that HBR increased the fluorescent staining for Smad1,3, and 4, confirming that the transcriptional action of HBR encompassed the upregulation of the encoded Smad proteins. Chromatin immune precipitation and transcriptional analyses showed that HBR increased the transcription of the cardiogenic gene Nkx-2.5 through Smad4 binding to its own consensus Smad site. Treatment of mouse ES cells and FMhMSCs with HBR led to the concomitant overexpression of both Smad4 and asarcomeric actinin. Smad4 silencing by the aid of lentiviral-mediated Smad4 shRNA confirmed a dominant role of Smad4 in HBR-induced cardiogenesis. Conclusions/Significance: The use of HBR may pave the way to novel combinatorial strategies of molecular and stem cell therapy based on fine tuning of targeted Smad transciption and signaling leading to a high-throughput of cardiogenesis without the needs of gene transfer technologies. © 2010 Maioli et al.

Chlapanidas T.,University of Pavia | Farago S.,Stazione Sperimentale per la Seta | Mingotto F.,Struttura Semplice Terapia Tissutale | Crovato F.,Struttura Semplice Terapia Tissutale | And 10 more authors.
Tissue Engineering - Part A | Year: 2011

Articular cartilage has limited repair and regeneration potential, and the scarcity of treatment modalities has motivated attempts to engineer cartilage tissue constructs. The use of chondrocytes in cartilage tissue engineering has been restricted by the limited availability of these cells, their intrinsic tendency to lose their phenotype during the expansion, as well as the difficulties during the first cell adhesion to the scaffold. Aim of this work was to evaluate the intra-articular adipose stromal vascular fraction attachment on silk fibroin scaffold to promote chondrocytes adhesion and proliferation. Physicochemical characterization has demonstrated that three-dimensionally organized silk fibroin scaffold is an ideal biopolymer for cartilage tissue engineering; it allows cell attachment, scaffold colonization, and physically cell holding in the area that must be repaired; the use of adipose-derived stem cells is a promising strategy to promote adhesion and proliferation of chondrocytes to the scaffold as an autologous human feeder layer. © Copyright 2011, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

The park sprawling on an area of almost one hectare, is the focal point for research, learning, reference as well as recreation. Complete with a nursery, it draws visitors who want to get the plants or herbs for the purpose of traditional treatment. Formerly a rubber plantation, it was managed by Unit Ladang Universiti in the early 1980s before it was handed over to Bioscience Institute (IBS) in 1996 for the purpose of research activity. IBS Agriculture Officer, Rishzuan Talib said the park is divided into 11 zones based on its functions, usage and species of plants. The zones are Ginger, Medicinal Plants, Ferns, Traditional Vegetables, Aquatic Plants, Wild Orchids, Pitcher Plants, Aroid, Spices, Aromatic Plants and Forest Fruits. The focus, however, is mainly on herbal plants. At the Medicinal Plants zone, there are about 200 species of native and exotic plants that could be found in the country such as Mata Pelanduk (Ardisiacrenata) and Lemba (Molineriacapitulata). Rishzuan said iconic plants at the park were Keladi Murai or Belimbing Tanah (Taccaintergrifolia), known for their medicinal value said to be able to treat diabetes and high blood pressure. Other medicinal plants available at the park include Tongkat Ali (Eurycomalongifolia), Kacip Fatimah (Labisiapumila), Tongkat Ali Hitam (Polyathiabullata King), Tunjuk Langit (Helminthostachyszeylanica), Pecah Kaca or PecahBeling (Strobilanthescrispa), Putat (Baringtoniaracemosa ), Mahkota Dewa (Phaleriamacrocarpa), Senduduk Putih (Melastomadecemfidum), Belalai Gajah (Clinacanthus Nutans) and HempeduBumi (Andrographispaniculata). He said most of the species available at Medicinal Plants Zone were those obtained from forests in Peninsula Malaysia. He also said the species possessed medicinal benefits as an alternative to modern medicines. There were those that were rare and very difficult to find. At Ginger zone, there are about 100 species which make up half of the total number of species that could be found in Malaysia, including Tepus (Zingiberspectabile) and Kantan Hutan (Etlingeraterengganuensis). There are about 50 species of traditional vegetables at the Traditional Vegetables zone, such as Daun Gajus (Anacardiumoccidantale) and Daud Salam (Syzgiumpolyanthum), obtained from jungles and vegetable farms. Over at the Aromatic Plants Zone, there are about 50 native and exotic species. The fragrance from these plants is spread through various important components such as the flowers, leaves, barks, fruits, saps and roots like those of Cempaka (Micheliachampaca) and Hidung Babi (Rothmaniamacrophylla). Rishzuan added that the Conservatory Park was part of Edu-Park UPM's programmes where three modules were introduced for visitors – Explore The Park, Herbal Spa and Take Me Home which can be obtained at a minimal rate. Under Explore The Park module, visitors will be taken through a special passage around the park by guides who will be briefing them about the plants available. Each tree is tagged with its scientific name, local name as well as a description of its usage. The trees are marked with an ID and the information is kept in a database which could be obtained by surfing its website. There is a free wi-fi here. Visitors have the choice to follow the Herbal Spa module where a demonstration on the use of herbal plants for bathing is conducted. It is not only invigorating but helps to stimulate blood circulation and is ideal for those who have just given birth. He added that seven types of leaves that could be used for bathing including limau kasturi, pokok lemuni, serai wangi, lengkuas and daun kantan were normally cut into pieces first before they were boiled in an earthen pot. The leaves will give such a refreshing aroma. The product are sold in the form of sachet at RM30 for each box which contain five sachets. Each sachet can be used twice. Meanwhile, under the Take Me Home module, children will be entertained to a floral drawing activity while the adults are given a demonstration on planting and growing of herbs. Explore further: Herbal medicine through an evolutionary lens

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