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Lukovic D.,Cabimer Centro Andaluz Of Biologia Molecular Y Medicina Regenerativa | Valdes-Sanchez L.,Cabimer Centro Andaluz Of Biologia Molecular Y Medicina Regenerativa | Sanchez-Vera I.,Cabimer Centro Andaluz Of Biologia Molecular Y Medicina Regenerativa | Moreno-Manzano V.,Research Center Principe Felipe | And 3 more authors.
Stem Cells | Year: 2014

Spinal cord injury results in neural loss and consequently motor and sensory impairment below the injury. Reactive astrocytes contribute to formation of glial scar, thus impeding axonal regeneration, through secretion of extracellular matrix molecules, chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs). In this study, we analyze lesion site tissue to reveal the possible mechanism underlying the functional recovery after cell transplantation of human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived oligodendrocyte progenitor cell (OPC) and motoneuron progenitors (MP) and propose that transplanted cells increase astrogliosis through the regenerative signaling pathways activated in the host tissue that may crucial for restoring locomotor ability. We show that the transplantation of hESC-derived OPC and MP promotes astrogliosis, through activation of Jagged1-dependent Notch and Jak/STAT signaling that support axonal survival. The transplanted cells in synergism with reactive astrocytes create permissive environment in which the expression of detrimental genes (Cspg, Tenascins, and genes involved in SLIT/ROBO signaling) was significantly decreased while expression of beneficial ones (Laminins and Fibronectin) was increased. According to our data, this mechanism is activated in all transplantation groups independently of the level of locomotor recovery. These results indicate that modifying the beneficial function of reactive astrocytes could be a feasible therapeutic strategy for spinal cord injury in future. © AlphaMed Press 2013. Source

Lukovic D.,Retina Group | Moreno-Manzano V.,Research Center Principe Felipe | Klabusay M.,St Annes University Hospital Brno | Stojkovic M.,Spebo Medical | And 3 more authors.
Frontiers in Genetics | Year: 2014

Several studies have demonstrated the important role of non-coding RNAs as regulators of posttranscriptional processes, including stem cells self-renewal and neural differentiation. Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (ihPSCs) show enormous potential in regenerative medicine due to their capacity to differentiate to virtually any type of cells of human body. Deciphering the role of non-coding RNAs in pluripotency, self-renewal and neural differentiation will reveal new molecular mechanisms involved in induction and maintenances of pluripotent state as well as triggering these cells toward clinically relevant cells for transplantation. In this brief review we will summarize recently published studies which reveal the role of non-coding RNAs in pluripotency and neural differentiation of hESCs and ihPSC. © 014 Lukovic, Moreno-Manzano, Klabusay, Stojkovic, Bhattacharya and Erceg. Source

Lukovic D.,Cabimer Centro Andaluz Of Biologya Molecular Y Medicina Regenerativa | Stojkovic M.,Spebo Medical | Stojkovic M.,University of Kragujevac | Moreno-Manzano V.,Research Center Principe Felipe | And 2 more authors.
Stem Cells and Development | Year: 2014

Halting the first clinical trial on the use of embryonic stem cell derivatives for spinal cord injury resulted in disappointment and created concerns about the future use of pluripotent stem cell-based therapy in the treatment of human diseases. This article presents reflections and concerns related to the halted embryonic stem cell-based clinical trial and discusses some important and controversial issues for achieving safe and successful cell therapy. This manuscript highlights two important points for successful translation of pluripotent stem cell-based therapy in clinics: (i) reproducible xeno-free growth and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells in good manufacturing practice conditions as the prerequisites to ensure a defined and controlled cell source and (ii) extensive studies in small and large animal models and comprehensive basic studies to determine any adverse or toxic effects of transplanted cells, especially teratoma formation, in addition to improving surgical procedure and cell delivery system. © 2014 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

Gomez-Villafuertes R.,Complutense University of Madrid | Rodriguez-Jimenez F.J.,Research Center Principe Felipe | Alastrue-Agudo A.,Research Center Principe Felipe | Stojkovic M.,Spebo Medical | And 3 more authors.
Cell Transplantation | Year: 2015

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a major cause of paralysis with no current therapies. Following SCI, large amounts of ATP and other nucleotides are released by the traumatized tissue leading to the activation of purinergic receptors that, in coordination with growth factors, induce lesion remodeling and repair. We found that adult mammalian ependymal spinal cord-derived stem/progenitor cells (epSPCs) are capable of responding to ATP and other nucleotidic compounds, mainly through the activation of the ionotropic P2X4, P2X7, and the metabotropic P2Y1 and P2Y4 purinergic receptors. A comparative study between epSPCs from healthy rats versus epSPCis, obtained after SCI, shows a downregulation of P2Y1 receptor together with an upregulation of P2Y4 receptor in epSPCis. Moreover, spinal cord after severe traumatic contusion shows early and persistent increases in the expression of P2X4 and P2X7 receptors around the injury, which are completely reversed when epSPCis were ectopically transplanted. Since epSPCi transplantation significantly rescues neurological function after SCI in parallel to inhibition of the induced P2 ionotropic receptors, a potential avenue is open for therapeutic alternatives in SCI treatments based on purinergic receptors and the endogenous reparative modulation. © 2015 Cognizant Comm. Corp. Source

Rodriguez-Jimenez F.J.,Research Center Principe Felipe | Alastrue-Agudo A.,Research Center Principe Felipe | Stojkovic M.,Spebo Medical | Stojkovic M.,University of Kragujevac | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2015

Ion channels included in the family of Connexins (Cx) help to control cell proliferation and differentiation of neuronal progenitors. Here we explored the role of Connexin 50 (Cx50) in cell fate modulation of adult spinal cord derived neural precursors located in the ependymal canal (epSPC). epSPC from non-injured animals showed high expression levels of Cx50 compared to epSPC from animals with spinal cord injury (SCI) (epSPCi). When epSPC or epSPCi were induced to spontaneously differentiate in vitro we found that Cx50 favors glial cell fate, since higher expression levels, endogenous or by over-expression of Cx50, augmented the expression of the astrocyte marker GFAP and impaired the neuronal marker Tuj1. Cx50 was found in both the cytoplasm and nucleus of glial cells, astrocytes and oligodendrocyte-derived cells. Similar expression patterns were found in primary cultures of mature astrocytes. In addition, opposite expression profile for nuclear Cx50 was observed when epSPC and activated epSPCi were conducted to differentiate into mature oligodendrocytes, suggesting a different role for this ion channel in spinal cord beyond cell-to-cell communication. In vivo detection of Cx50 by immunohistochemistry showed a defined location in gray matter in non-injured tissues and at the epicenter of the injury after SCI. epSPCi transplantation, which accelerates locomotion regeneration by a neuroprotective effect after acute SCI is associated with a lower signal of Cx50 within the injured area, suggesting a minor or detrimental contribution of this ion channel in spinal cord regeneration by activated epSPCi. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source

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