Pediatric Stem Cell Research Institute

Tel Aviv, Israel

Pediatric Stem Cell Research Institute

Tel Aviv, Israel
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Fisher T.,Pediatric Hemato Oncology Research Laboratory | Golan H.,Pediatric Hemato Oncology Research Laboratory | Golan H.,The Edmond And Lily Safra Childrens Hospital | Prichen S.,Pediatric Stem Cell Research Institute | And 10 more authors.
Current Oncology | Year: 2016

Background Neuroblastoma (nbl) is one of the most common solid cancers in children. Prognosis in advanced nbl is still poor despite aggressive multimodality therapy. Furthermore, survivors experience severe long-term multi-organ sequelae. Hence, the identification of new therapeutic strategies is of utmost importance. Cannabinoids and their derivatives have been used for years in folk medicine and later in the field of palliative care. Recently, they were found to show pharmacologic activity in cancer, including cytostatic, apoptotic, and antiangiogenic effects. Methods We investigated, in vitro and in vivo, the anti-nbl effect of the most active compounds in Cannabis, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (thc) and cannabidiol (cbd). We set out to experimentally determine the effects of those compounds on viability, invasiveness, cell cycle distribution, and programmed cell death in human nbl SK-N-SH cells. Results Both compounds have antitumourigenic activity in vitro and impeded the growth of tumour xenografts in vivo. Of the two cannabinoids tested, cbd was the more active. Treatment with cbd reduced the viability and invasiveness of treated tumour cells in vitro and induced apoptosis (as demonstrated by morphology changes, sub-G1 cell accumulation, and annexin V assay). Moreover, cbd elicited an increase in activated caspase 3 in treated cells and tumour xenografts. Conclusions Our results demonstrate the antitumourigenic action of cbd on nbl cells. Because cbd is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that appears to be devoid of side effects, our results support its exploitation as an effective anticancer drug in the management of nbl. © 2016 Multimed Inc.

Gnatek Y.,Ben - Gurion University of the Negev | Gnatek Y.,Pediatric Stem Cell Research Institute | Zimmerman G.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Goll Y.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | And 3 more authors.
Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience | Year: 2012

Recent studies show a key role of brain inflammation in epilepsy. However, the mechanisms controlling brain immune response are only partly understood. In the periphery, acetylcholine (ACh) release by the vagus nerve restrains inflammation by inhibiting the activation of leukocytes. Recent reports suggested a similar anti-inflammatory effect for ACh in the brain. Since brain cholinergic dysfunctions are documented in epileptic animals, we explored changes in brain cholinergic gene expression and associated immune response during pilocarpine-induced epileptogenesis. Levels of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and inflammatory markers were measured using real-time RT-PCR, in-situ hybridization and immunostaining in wild type (WT) and transgenic mice over-expressing the "synaptic" splice variant AChE-S (TgS). One month following pilocarpine, mice were video-monitored for spontaneous seizures. To test directly the effect of ACh on the brain's innate immune response, cytokines expression levels were measured in acute brain slices treated with cholinergic agents. We report a robust up-regulation of AChE as early as 48 h following pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE). AChE was expressed in hippocampal neurons, microglia, and endothelial cells but rarely in astrocytes. TgS mice overexpressing AChE showed constitutive increased microglial activation, elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines 48 h after SE and accelerated epileptogenesis compared to their WT counterparts. Finally we show a direct, muscarine-receptor dependant, nicotine-receptor independent anti-inflammatory effect of ACh in brain slices maintained ex vivo. Our work demonstrates for the first time, that ACh directly suppresses brain innate immune response and that AChE up-regulation after SE is associated with enhanced immune response, facilitating the epileptogenic process. Our results highlight the cholinergic system as a potential new target for the prevention of seizures and epilepsy. © 2012 Gnatek, Zimmerman, Goll, Najami, Soreq and Friedman.

Shukrun R.,Pediatric Stem Cell Research Institute | Shukrun R.,Sheba Centers for Regenerative Medicine and Cancer Research | Shukrun R.,Tel Aviv University | Pode-Shakked N.,Pediatric Stem Cell Research Institute | And 25 more authors.
Stem Cell Reports | Year: 2014

An open question remains in cancer stem cell (CSC) biology whether CSCs are by definition at the top of the differentiation hierarchy of the tumor. Wilms' tumor (WT), composed of blastema and differentiated renal elements resembling the nephrogenic zone of the developing kidney, is a valuable model for studying this question because early kidney differentiation is well characterized. WT neural cell adhesion molecule 1-positive (NCAM1+) aldehyde dehydrogenase 1-positive (ALDH1+) CSCs have been recently isolated and shown to harbor early renal progenitor traits. Herein, by generating pure blastema WT xenografts, composed solely of cells expressing the renal developmental markers SIX2 and NCAM1, we surprisingly show that sorted ALDH1+ WT CSCs do not correspond to earliest renal stem cells. Rather, gene expression and proteomic comparative analyses disclose a cell type skewed more toward epithelial differentiation than the bulk of the blastema. Thus, WT CSCs are likely to dedifferentiate to propagate WT blastema. © 2014 The Authors.

Kovalski Y.,Institute of Pediatric Nephrology | Kovalski Y.,Childrens Medical Center | Cleper R.,Institute of Pediatric Nephrology | Cleper R.,Tel Aviv University | And 8 more authors.
Pediatric Nephrology | Year: 2012

Background Hyponatremic hypertensive syndrome (HHS) is characterized by unilateral renal artery stenosis with secondary hypertension and glomerular and tubular dysfunction due to hyperfiltration and activation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Case-diagnosis/treatment We describe four children with HHS. All presented with polyuria and polydipsia, electrolyte disturbances,metabolic alkalosis, variable tubular dysfunction, and nephrotic range proteinuria along with hypertension. Interestingly, in one patient, glomerular and tubular abnormalities preceded the development of hypertension. All symptoms resolved after the underlying renal ischemia was corrected by percutaneous angioplasty. Conclusion Hyponatremic hypertensive syndrome may be more common in children than previously thought. Clinicians should be alert of the signs and symptoms because cure is possible with timely diagnosis and treatment. © IPNA 2012.

Besser M.J.,Ella Institute of Melanoma | Besser M.J.,Tel Aviv University | Shoham T.,GreenOnyx | Harari-Steinberg O.,Ella Institute of Melanoma | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Natural killer (NK) cells have long been considered as potential agents for adoptive cell therapy for solid cancer patients. Until today most studies utilized autologous NK cells and yielded disappointing results. Here we analyze various modular strategies to employ allogeneic NK cells for adoptive cell transfer, including donor-recipient HLA-C mismatching, selective activation and induction of melanoma-recognizing lysis receptors, and co-administration of antibodies to elicit antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity (ADCC). We show that NK cell activation and induction of the relevant lysis receptors, as well as co-administration of antibodies yield substantial anti-cancer effects, which are functionally superior to HLA-C mismatching. Combination of the various strategies yielded improved effects. In addition, we developed various clinically-compatible ex vivo expansion protocols that were optimized according to fold expansion, purity and expression of lysis receptors. The main advantages of employing allogeneic NK cells are accessibility, the ability to use a single donor for many patients, combination with various strategies associated with the mechanism of action, e.g. antibodies and specific activation, as well as donor selection according to HLA or CD16 genotypes. This study rationalizes a clinical trial that combines adoptive transfer of highly potent allogeneic NK cells and antibody therapy. © 2013 Besser et al.

Dziedzic K.,Pediatric Stem Cell Research Institute | Dziedzic K.,Tel Aviv University | Pleniceanu O.,Pediatric Stem Cell Research Institute | Pleniceanu O.,Tel Aviv University | And 2 more authors.
Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology | Year: 2014

The generation of nephrons during development depends on differentiation via a mesenchymal to epithelial transition (MET) of self-renewing, tissue-specific stem cells confined to a specific anatomic niche of the nephrogenic cortex. These cells may transform to generate oncogenic stem cells and drive pediatric renal cancer. Once nephron epithelia are formed the view of post-MET tissue renal growth and maintenance by adult tissue-specific epithelial stem cells becomes controversial. Recently, genetic lineage tracing that followed clonal evolution of single kidney cells showed that the need for new cells is constantly driven by fate-restricted unipotent clonal expansions in varying kidney segments arguing against a multipotent adult stem cell model. Lineage-restriction was similarly maintained in kidney organoids grown in culture. Importantly, kidney cells in which Wnt was activated were traced to give significant clonal progeny indicating a clonogenic hierarchy. In vivo nephron epithelia may be endowed with the capacity akin to that of unipotent epithelial stem/progenitor such that under specific stimuli can clonally expand/self renew by local proliferation of mature differentiated cells. Finding ways to ex vivo preserve and expand the observed in vivo kidney-forming capacity inherent to both the fetal and adult kidneys is crucial for taking renal regenerative medicine forward. Some of the strategies used to achieve this are sorting human fetal nephron stem/progenitor cells, growing adult nephrospheres or reprogramming differentiated kidney cells toward expandable renal progenitors. © 2014.

PubMed | Pediatric Stem Cell Research Institute
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio) | Year: 2010

End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is defined as the inability of the kidneys to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood. ESRD progresses from earlier stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and occurs when the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is below 15 ml/minute/1.73 m(2). CKD and ESRD are dramatically rising due to increasing aging population, population demographics, and the growing rate of diabetes and hypertension. Identification of multipotential stem/progenitor populations in mammalian tissues is important for therapeutic applications and for understanding developmental processes and tissue homeostasis. Progenitor populations are ideal targets for gene therapy, cell transplantation, and tissue engineering. The demand for kidney progenitors is increasing due to severe shortage of donor organs. Because dialysis and transplantation are currently the only successful therapies for ESRD, cell therapy offers an alternative approach for kidney diseases. However, this approach may be relevant only in earlier stages of CKD, when kidney function and histology are still preserved, allowing for the integration of cells and/or for their paracrine effects, but not when small and fibrotic end-stage kidneys develop. Although blood- and bone marrow-derived stem cells hold a therapeutic promise, they are devoid of nephrogenic potential, emphasizing the need to seek kidney stem cells beyond known extrarenal sources. Moreover, controversies regarding the existence of a true adult kidney stem cell highlight the importance of studying cell-based therapies using pluripotent cells, progenitor cells from fetal kidney, or dedifferentiated/reprogrammed adult kidney cells.

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