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Pozzobon M.,Fondazione Istituto di Ricerca Pediatrica Citta della Speranza | Piccoli M.,Fondazione Istituto di Ricerca Pediatrica Citta della Speranza | De Coppi P.,University College London
Cell and Tissue Banking | Year: 2014

Stem cell therapy is in constant need of new cell sources to conceive regenerative medicine approaches for diseases that are still without therapy. Scientists drew the attention toward amniotic membrane and amniotic fluid stem cells, since these sources possess many advantages: first of all as cells can be extracted from discarded foetal material it is inexpensive, secondly abundant stem cells can be obtained and finally, these stem cell sources are free from ethical considerations. Many studies have demonstrated the differentiation potential in vitro and in vivo toward mesenchymal and non-mesenchymal cell types; in addition the immune-modulatory properties make these cells a good candidate for allo- and xenotransplantation. This review offers an overview on markers characterisation and on the latest findings in pre-clinical or clinical setting of the stem cell populations isolated from these sources. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Michela P.,Fondazione Istituto di Ricerca Pediatrica Citta della Speranza | Chiara F.,Fondazione Istituto di Ricerca Pediatrica Citta della Speranza | Martina P.,Fondazione Istituto di Ricerca Pediatrica Citta della Speranza | Paolo D.C.,University College London
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience | Year: 2014

More than 40% of the body mass is represented by muscle tissue, which possesses the innate ability to regenerate after damage through the activation of muscle specific stem cell, namely satellite cells. Muscle diseases, in particular chronic degenerative state of skeletal muscle such as dystrophies, lead to a perturbation of the regenerative process, which causes the premature exhaustion of satellite cell reservoir due to continue cycles of degeneration/regeneration. Nowadays, the research is focused on different therapeutic approaches, ranging from gene and cell to pharmacological therapy, but still there is not a definitive cure in particular for genetic muscle disease. Taking this in mind, in this article we will give special consideration to muscle diseases and the use of fetal derived stem cells as new approach for therapy. Cells of fetal origin, from cord blood to placenta and amniotic fluid, can be easily obtained without ethical concern, expanded and differentiated in culture, and possess immunemodulatory properties. The in vivo approach in animal models can be helpful to study the mechanism underneath the operating principle of the stem cell reservoir, namely the niche, which holds great potential to understand the onset of muscle pathologies. © 2014 Pozzobon, Franzin, Piccoli and De_coppi.

Franzin C.,Fondazione Istituto di Ricerca Pediatrica Citta della Speranza | Piccoli M.,Fondazione Istituto di Ricerca Pediatrica Citta della Speranza | Serena E.,University of Padua | Bertin E.,Fondazione Istituto di Ricerca Pediatrica Citta della Speranza | And 11 more authors.
Biology of the Cell | Year: 2013

Background Information: In the last few years, recent evidence has revealed that inside an apparently homogeneous cell population there indeed appears to be heterogeneity. This is particularly true for embryonic stem (ES) cells where markers of pluripotency are dynamically expressed within the single cells. In this work, we have designed and tested a new set of primers for multiplex PCR detection of pluripotency markers expression, and have applied it to perform a single-cell analysis in murine ES cells cultured on three different substrates that could play an important role in controlling cell behaviour and fate: (i) mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) feeder layer, as the standard method for ES cells culture; (ii) Matrigel coating; (iii) micropatterned hydrogel. Results: Compared with population analysis, using a single-cell approach, we were able to evaluate not only the number of cells that maintained the expression of a specific gene but, most importantly, how many cells co-expressed different markers. We found that micropatterned hydrogel seems to represent a good alternative to MEF, as the expression of stemness markers is better preserved than in Matrigel culture. Conclusions: This single-cell assay allows for the assessment of the stemness maintenance at a single-cell level in terms of gene expression profile, and can be applied in stem cell research to characterise freshly isolated and cultured cells, or to standardise, for instance, the method of culture closely linked to the transcriptional activity and the differentiation potential. © 2013 Société Française des Microscopies and Société de Biologie Cellulaire de France. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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