Stem Cell Biology and Embryology Unit

Leuven, Belgium

Stem Cell Biology and Embryology Unit

Leuven, Belgium
SEARCH FILTERS
Time filter
Source Type

Duelen R.,Stem Cell Biology and Embryology Unit | Gilbert G.,Catholic University of Leuven | Patel A.,Catholic University of Leuven | De Schaetzen N.,Stem Cell Biology and Embryology Unit | And 9 more authors.
Stem Cells International | Year: 2017

The use of human pluripotent stem cells in basic and translational cardiac research requires efficient differentiation protocols towards cardiomyocytes. In vitro differentiation yields heterogeneous populations of ventricular-, atrial-, and nodal-like cells hindering their potential applications in regenerative therapies. We described the effect of the growth factor Activin A during early human embryonic stem cell fate determination in cardiac differentiation. Addition of high levels of Activin A during embryoid body cardiac differentiation augmented the generation of endoderm derivatives, which in turn promoted cardiomyocyte differentiation. Moreover, a dose-Dependent increase in the coreceptor expression of the TGF-β superfamily member CRIPTO-1 was observed in response to Activin A. We hypothesized that interactions between cells derived from meso- and endodermal lineages in embryoid bodies contributed to improved cell maturation in early stages of cardiac differentiation, improving the beating frequency and the percentage of contracting embryoid bodies. Activin A did not seem to affect the properties of cardiomyocytes at later stages of differentiation, measuring action potentials, and intracellular Ca2+ dynamics. These findings are relevant for improving our understanding on human heart development, and the proposed protocol could be further explored to obtain cardiomyocytes with functional phenotypes, similar to those observed in adult cardiac myocytes. © 2017 Robin Duelen et al.


Martinez-Sarra E.,International University of Catalonia | Martinez-Sarra E.,Stem Cell Biology and Embryology Unit | Montori S.,International University of Catalonia | Gil-Recio C.,International University of Catalonia | And 9 more authors.
Stem Cell Research and Therapy | Year: 2017

Background: Dental pulp represents an easily accessible autologous source of adult stem cells. A subset of these cells, named dental pulp pluripotent-like stem cells (DPPSC), shows high plasticity and can undergo multiple population doublings, making DPPSC an appealing tool for tissue repair or maintenance. Methods: DPPSC were harvested from the dental pulp of third molars extracted from young patients. Growth factors released by DPPSC were analysed using antibody arrays. Cells were cultured in specific differentiation media and their endothelial, smooth and skeletal muscle differentiation potential was evaluated. The therapeutic potential of DPPSC was tested in a wound healing mouse model and in two genetic mouse models of muscular dystrophy (Scid/mdx and Sgcb-null Rag2-null γc-null). Results: DPPSC secreted several growth factors involved in angiogenesis and extracellular matrix deposition and improved vascularisation in all three murine models. Moreover, DPPSC stimulated re-epithelialisation and ameliorated collagen deposition and organisation in healing wounds. In dystrophic mice, DPPSC engrafted in the skeletal muscle of both dystrophic murine models and showed integration in muscular fibres and vessels. In addition, DPPSC treatment resulted in reduced fibrosis and collagen content, larger cross-sectional area of type II fast-glycolytic fibres and infiltration of higher numbers of proangiogenic CD206+ macrophages. Conclusions: Overall, DPPSC represent a potential source of stem cells to enhance the wound healing process and slow down dystrophic muscle degeneration. © 2017 The Author(s).


Di Filippo E.S.,University of Chieti Pescara | Di Filippo E.S.,Center for Excellence on Ageing | Mancinelli R.,University of Chieti Pescara | Mancinelli R.,Center for Excellence on Ageing | And 9 more authors.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2016

Satellite cells that reside on the myofibre surface are crucial for the muscle homeostasis and regeneration. Aging goes along with a less effective regeneration of skeletal muscle tissue mainly due to the decreased myogenic capability of satellite cells. This phenomenon impedes proper maintenance and contributes to the age-associated decline in muscle mass, known as sarcopenia. The myogenic potential impairment does not depend on a reduced myogenic cell number, but mainly on their difficulty to complete a differentiation program. The unbalanced production of reactive oxygen species in elderly people could be responsible for skeletal muscle impairments. microRNAs are conserved post-transcriptional regulators implicated in numerous biological processes including adult myogenesis. Here, we measure the ROS level and analyze myomiR (miR-1, miR-133b and miR-206) expression in human myogenic precursors obtained from Vastus lateralis of elderly and young subjects to provide the molecular signature responsible for the differentiation impairment of elderly activated satellite cells. © 2016 The Authors.


PubMed | University of Pavia, University of Chieti Pescara and Stem Cell Biology and Embryology Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Biochemical and biophysical research communications | Year: 2016

Satellite cells that reside on the myofibre surface are crucial for the muscle homeostasis and regeneration. Aging goes along with a less effective regeneration of skeletal muscle tissue mainly due to the decreased myogenic capability of satellite cells. This phenomenon impedes proper maintenance and contributes to the age-associated decline in muscle mass, known as sarcopenia. The myogenic potential impairment does not depend on a reduced myogenic cell number, but mainly on their difficulty to complete a differentiation program. The unbalanced production of reactive oxygen species in elderly people could be responsible for skeletal muscle impairments. microRNAs are conserved post-transcriptional regulators implicated in numerous biological processes including adult myogenesis. Here, we measure the ROS level and analyze myomiR (miR-1, miR-133b and miR-206) expression in human myogenic precursors obtained from Vastus lateralis of elderly and young subjects to provide the molecular signature responsible for the differentiation impairment of elderly activated satellite cells.


Palazzolo G.,Stem Cell Biology and Embryology Unit | Palazzolo G.,San Donato Hospital | Quattrocelli M.,Stem Cell Biology and Embryology Unit | Toelen J.,Catholic University of Leuven | And 10 more authors.
Stem Cells International | Year: 2016

The Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies are caused by mutation of dystrophin gene and primarily affect skeletal and cardiac muscles. Cardiac involvement in dystrophic GRMD dogs has been demonstrated by electrocardiographic studies with the onset of a progressive cardiomyopathy similar to the cardiac disease in DMD patients. In this respect, GRMD is a useful model to explore cardiac and skeletal muscle pathogenesis and for developing new therapeutic protocols. Here we describe a protocol to convert GRMD canine fibroblasts isolated from heart and skin into induced cardiac-like myocytes (ciCLMs). We used a mix of transcription factors (GATA4, HAND2, TBX5, and MEF2C), known to be able to differentiate mouse and human somatic cells into ciCLMs. Exogenous gene expression was obtained using four lentiviral vectors carrying transcription factor genes and different resistance genes. Our data demonstrate a direct switch from fibroblast into ciCLMs with no activation of early cardiac genes. ciCLMs were unable to contract spontaneously, suggesting, differently from mouse and human cells, an incomplete differentiation process. However, when transplanted in neonatal hearts of SCID/Beige mice, ciCLMs participate in cardiac myogenesis. © 2016 Giacomo Palazzolo et al.


Costamagna D.,Stem Cell Biology and Embryology Unit | Costamagna D.,University of Turin | Berardi E.,Stem Cell Biology and Embryology Unit | Ceccarelli G.,University of Pavia | And 2 more authors.
Current Gene Therapy | Year: 2015

Satellite cells are unipotent stem cells involved in muscle regeneration. However, the skeletal muscle microenvironment exerts a dominant influence over stem cell function. The cell intrinsic complexity of the skeletal muscle niche located within the connective tissue between fibers includes motor neurons, tendons, blood vessels, immune response mediators and interstitial cells. All these cell types modulate the trafficking of stimuli responsible of muscle fiber regeneration. In addition, several stem cell types have been discovered in skeletal muscle tissue, mainly located in the interstitium. The majority of these stem cells appears to directly contribute to myogenic differentiation, although some of them are mainly implicated in paracrine effects. This review focuses on adult stem cells, which have been used for therapeutic purposes, mainly in animal models of chronic muscle degeneration. Emerging literature identifies other myogenic progenitors generated from pluripotent stem cells as potential candidates for the treatment of skeletal muscle degeneration. However, adult stem cells still represent the gold standard for future comparative studies. © 2015 Bentham Science Publishers.


Quattrocelli M.,Stem Cell Biology and Embryology Unit | Giacomazzi G.,Stem Cell Biology and Embryology Unit | Broeckx S.Y.,ANACURA Group | Ceelen L.,ANACURA Group | And 4 more authors.
Stem Cell Reports | Year: 2016

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) hold great potential not only for human but also for veterinary purposes. The equine industry must often deal with health issues concerning muscle and cartilage, where comprehensive regenerative strategies are still missing. In this regard, a still open question is whether equine iPSCs differentiate toward muscle and cartilage, and whether donor cell type influences their differentiation potential. We addressed these questions through an isogenic system of equine iPSCs obtained from myogenic mesoangioblasts (MAB-iPSCs) and chondrogenic mesenchymal stem cells (MSC-iPSCs). Despite similar levels of pluripotency characteristics, the myogenic differentiation appeared enhanced in MAB-iPSCs. Conversely, the chondrogenic differentiation was augmented in MSC-iPSCs through both teratoma and in vitro differentiation assays. Thus, our data suggest that equine iPSCs can differentiate toward the myogenic and chondrogenic lineages, and can present a skewed differentiation potential in favor of the source cell lineage. © 2016 The Authors.


PubMed | University of Pavia, ANACURA Group and Stem Cell Biology and Embryology Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Stem cell reports | Year: 2016

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) hold great potential not only for human but also for veterinary purposes. The equine industry must often deal with health issues concerning muscle and cartilage, where comprehensive regenerative strategies are still missing. In this regard, a still open question is whether equine iPSCs differentiate toward muscle and cartilage, and whether donor cell type influences their differentiation potential. We addressed these questions through an isogenic system of equine iPSCs obtained from myogenic mesoangioblasts (MAB-iPSCs) and chondrogenic mesenchymal stem cells (MSC-iPSCs). Despite similar levels of pluripotency characteristics, the myogenic differentiation appeared enhanced in MAB-iPSCs. Conversely, the chondrogenic differentiation was augmented in MSC-iPSCs through both teratoma and invitro differentiation assays. Thus, our data suggest that equine iPSCs can differentiate toward the myogenic and chondrogenic lineages, and can present a skewed differentiation potential in favor of the source cell lineage.

Loading Stem Cell Biology and Embryology Unit collaborators
Loading Stem Cell Biology and Embryology Unit collaborators