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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Nekanti U.,Stempeutics Research Pvt. Ltd. | Dastidar S.,Manipal University India | Venugopal P.,Stempeutics Research Pvt. Ltd. | Totey S.,Stempeutics Research Malaysia SDN BHD | Ta M.,Manipal University India
International Journal of Biological Sciences | Year: 2010

Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) from Wharton's jelly (WJ) of umbilical cord bear higher proliferation rate and self-renewal capacity than adult tissue-derived MSCs and are a primitive stromal cell population. Stem cell niche or physiological microenvironment plays a crucial role in maintenance of stem cell properties and oxygen concentration is an important component of the stem cell niche. Low oxygen tension or hypoxia is prevalent in the microenvironment of embryonic stem cells and many adult stem cells at early stages of development. Again, in vivo, MSCs are known to home specifically to hypoxic events following tissue injuries. Here we examined the effect of hypoxia on proliferation and in vitro differentiation potential of WJ-MSCs. Under hypoxia, WJ-MSCs exhibited improved proliferative potential while maintaining multi-lineage differentiation potential and surface marker expression. Hypoxic WJ-MSCs expressed higher mRNA levels of hypoxia inducible factors, notch receptors and notch downstream gene HES1. Gene expression profile of WJ-MSCs exposed to hypoxia and normoxia was compared and we identified a differential gene expression pattern where several stem cells markers and early mesodermal/endothelial genes such as DESMIN, CD34, ACTC were upregulated under hypoxia, suggesting that in vitro culturing of WJ-MSCs under hypoxic conditions leads to adoption of a mesodermal/endothelial fate. Thus, we demonstrate for the first time the effect of hypoxia on gene expression and growth kinetics of WJ-MSCs. Finally, although WJ-MSCs do not induce teratomas, under stressful and long-term culture conditions, MSCs can occasionally undergo transformation. Though there were no chromosomal abnormalities, certain transformation markers were upregulated in a few of the samples of WJ-MSCs under hypoxia. © Ivyspring International Publisher. Source

Nekanti U.,Stempeutics Research Pvt. Ltd. | Rao V.B.,Stempeutics Research Pvt. Ltd. | Bahirvani A.G.,Stempeutics Research Pvt. Ltd. | Jan M.,Stempeutics Research Pvt. Ltd. | And 2 more authors.
Stem Cells and Development | Year: 2010

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) with their multilineage developmental plasticity comprise a promising tool for regenerative cell-based therapy. Despite important biological properties, which the MSCs from different sources share, the differences between them are poorly understood. Hence, it is required to assign a molecular signature to each of these MSC populations, based on stem cell related genes and early lineage or developmental markers. Understanding their propensity to differentiate to different lineages is fundamental for the development of successful cell-based therapies. Culture expansion of MSCs is a prerequisite, since high absolute numbers of stem cells are required to attain a clinical dose. Here, we compared the different culture conditions for long-term expansion of human MSCs isolated from the Wharton's jelly (WJ) of the umbilical cord while preserving their stem cell characteristics and differentiation potential. We find that DMEM-KO and DMEM-F12 are superior as compared to the other media tested in supporting the in vitro expansion of the WJ-MSCs. We studied the gene expression profile of WJ and bone marrow-derived MSCs (BM-MSCs) both at early and late passages using Human Stem Cell Pluripotency Array, and our data revealed differences at the transcriptional level between the two MSC types. Compared to BM-MSCs, WJ-MSCs had higher expression of undifferentiated human embryonic stem cell (hES) markers like NANOG, DNMT3B, and GABRB3, pluripotent/stem cell markers, as well as some early endodermal markers both at early and late passages. To conclude, WJ-MSCs possess properties of true stem cells, which they retain even after extended in vitro culturing.© Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

Nekanti U.,Stempeutics Research Pvt. Ltd. | Mohanty L.,Stempeutics Research Pvt. Ltd. | Venugopal P.,Stempeutics Research Pvt. Ltd. | Balasubramanian S.,Stempeutics Research Pvt. Ltd. | And 2 more authors.
Stem Cell Research | Year: 2010

MSCs are promising candidates for stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine. Umbilical cord is the easiest obtainable biological source of MSCs and the Wharton's jelly of the umbilical cord is a rich source of fetus-derived stem cells. However, the use of MSCs for therapeutic application is based on their subsequent large-scale in vitro expansion. A fast and efficient protocol for generation of large quantities of MSCs is required to meet the clinical demand and biomedical research needs. Here we have optimized conditions for scaling up of WJ-MSCs. Low seeding density along with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) supplementation in the growth medium, which is DMEM-KO, resulted in propagation of more than 1x10 8 cells within a time period of 15days from a single umbilical cord. The upscaled WJ-MSCs retained their differentiation potential and immunosuppressive capacity. They expressed the typical hMSC surface antigens and the addition of bFGF in the culture medium did not affect the expression levels of HLA-DR and CD 44. A normal karyotype was confirmed in the large-scale expanded WJ-MSCs. Hence, in this study we attempted rapid clinical-scale expansion of WJ-MSCs which would allow these fetus-derived stem cells to be used for various allogeneic cell-based transplantations and tissue engineering. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

Das A.K.,Stempeutics Research Malaysia SDN BHD | Gopurappilly R.,University of Selangor | Parhar I.,University of Selangor
Current Stem Cell Research and Therapy | Year: 2011

Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are a common form of trauma that leaves a huge trail of morbidity and human suffering in its wake. They occur mostly among the young, causing severe physical, psychological, social and economic burdens. The treatment of this condition has rather been disappointing; most of the management strategies being mainly supportive and prophylactic. In recent years there has been an emerging interest in the use of stem cells to regenerate the nervous tissue that has been damaged or lost. Although there has been much hype and unfounded hope, modest successes have been witnessed, and it is possible that these therapeutic strategies may have much more to offer in the future. This paper will review the current strategies of exploring cell-based therapies, mainly different types of stem cells to treat SCI along with the evidence that has been accumulated over the past decade in a rational bench-to-bedside approach. Further more, critical aspects such as the mode of delivery and ethical considerations are also discussed along with feasible suggestions for future translational research to provide a contextual picture of the current state of advancements in this field. The impediments to regeneration in the site of injury are briefly explained along with the benefits and drawbacks of different cell types used in the treatment of this condition. We hope that this review will offer a significant insight into this challenging clinical condition. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. Source

Gupta P.K.,Stempeutics Research Private Ltd | Das A.K.,Stempeutics Research Malaysia SDN BHD | Chullikana A.,Stempeutics Research Private Ltd | Majumdar A.S.,Stempeutics Research Private Ltd
Stem Cell Research and Therapy | Year: 2012

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease of the connective tissue and progresses with age in the older population or develops in young athletes following sports-related injury. The articular cartilage is especially vulnerable to damage and has poor potential for regeneration because of the absence of vasculature within the tissue. Normal load-bearing capacity and biomechanical properties of thinning cartilage are severely compromised during the course of disease progression. Although surgical and pharmaceutical interventions are currently available for treating OA, restoration of normal cartilage function has been difficult to achieve. Since the tissue is composed primarily of chondrocytes distributed in a specialized extracellular matrix bed, bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs), also known as bone marrow-derived 'mesenchymal stem cells' or 'mesenchymal stromal cells', with inherent chondrogenic differentiation potential appear to be ideally suited for therapeutic use in cartilage regeneration. BMSCs can be easily isolated and massively expanded in culture in an undifferentiated state for therapeutic use. Owing to their potential to modulate local microenvironment via anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive functions, BMSCs have an additional advantage for allogeneic application. Moreover, by secreting various bioactive soluble factors, BMSCs can protect the cartilage from further tissue destruction and facilitate regeneration of the remaining progenitor cells in situ. This review broadly describes the advances made during the last several years in BMSCs and their therapeutic potential for repairing cartilage damage in OA. © 2012 BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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