Stempeutics Research Malaysia SDN BHD

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Stempeutics Research Malaysia SDN BHD

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Sivasubramaniyan K.,Stempeutics Research Pvt. Ltd. | Pal R.,Stempeutics Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd | Totey S.,Stempeutics Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd | Bhat V.S.,Manipal Hospital Diagnostic Services
Current Stem Cell Research and Therapy | Year: 2010

Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) differentiate spontaneously in culture and develop a complex microenvironment comprising of autologously derived niche that in turn supports their pluripotency. The basic hypothesis that we deal with is that hESCs undergoing differentiation, sequentially generate trophectoderm and endoderm lineages and thereafter influence further events through the production of growth factors. These factors control the fate of hESCs either by promoting or retarding the recruitment of new cells in the differentiation program. This scenario therefore represents an analog of the in vivo situation in which extra-embryonic tissues influence the behavior of the inner cell mass (ICM). The premise of the paper is the Rho kinase inhibitor Y27632 that can spatiotemporally alter this balance between pluripotency and differentiation. To evaluate the composition and inclination of lineage specification during spontaneous differentiation, we have studied the hESC colonies and their surrounding niche as interdependent entities. We show that the population of fibroblastic niche that surrounds hESC colonies co-expresses trophectoderm and niche cell markers including SSEA1, hCG, progesterone, HAND1, pSmad1 and FGFR1 as early as day 4. A sudden increase in the expression of GATA4 and AFP secretion indicated putative endoderm formation on day 6 in both control and Y27632 treated cultures. On day 6, 20 μM of Y27632 supplementation significantly reduced the trophectoderm-like niche population without affecting endoderm formation, enhanced the average size and number of hESC colonies, decreased IGF1 secretion thereby improving the pluripotency. Overall our findings support the afore mentioned hypothesis and demonstrate that closely packed epithelial trophectoderm-like cells bordering the hESC colonies present an initial and imminent localized niche which is spatiotemporally regulated. Such advances in understanding the behavior and modulation of hESC and its surrounding niche would facilitate better differentiation protocols for applications in regenerative medicine and drug screening. © 2010 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.


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.


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.


Dutta S.,International Medical University | Singh G.,Stempeutics Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd | Sreejith S.,Stempeutics Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd | Mamidi M.K.,Stempeutics Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd | And 5 more authors.
CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics | Year: 2013

Neurodegenerative diseases are devastating because they cause increasing loss of cognitive and physical functions and affect an estimated 1 billion individuals worldwide. Unfortunately, no drugs are currently available to halt their progression, except a few that are largely inadequate. This mandates the search of new treatments for these progressively degenerative diseases. Neural stem cells (NSCs) have been successfully isolated, propagated, and characterized from the adult brains of mammals, including humans. The confirmation that neurogenesis occurs in the adult brain via NSCs opens up fresh avenues for treating neurological problems. The proof-of-concept studies demonstrating the neural differentiation capacity of stem cells both in vitro and in vivo have raised widespread enthusiasm toward cell-based interventions. It is anticipated that cell-based neurogenic drugs may reverse or compensate for deficits associated with neurological diseases. The increasing interest of the private sector in using human stem cells in therapeutics is evidenced by launching of several collaborative clinical research activities between Pharma giants and research institutions or small start-up companies. In this review, we discuss the major developments that have taken place in this field to position stem cells as a prospective candidate drug for the treatment of neurological disorders. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


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.


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.


Pal R.,Manipal University India | Pal R.,Stempeutics Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd | Mamidi M.K.,Stempeutics Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd | Kumar Das A.,Stempeutics Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd | Bhonde R.,Stempeutics Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd
Journal of Cellular Physiology | Year: 2011

In vitro models based on embryonic stem cells (ESC) are highly promising for improvement of predictive toxicology screening in humans. After the successful validation of embryonic stem cell test (EST) in 2001; concerns have been raised on the usage of mouse ESC and also the morphological evaluation of beating cell clusters. This requires specialized skill-sets and is highly prone to misjudgement and false positive results. To overcome these limitations, we undertook the present study incorporating improvisations over the conventional EST. Here, we explored the potential of a human ESC (hESC)-based assay to evaluate the potential toxicity of penicillin-G, caffeine, and hydroxyurea. Drug treatment inhibited hESC adhesion and substantially altered the morphology and viability (∼50%) of embryoid bodies (EBs). Flow cytometry analysis not only showed a significant increase of apoptotic cells in the highest doses but also induced a diverse pattern in DNA content and cell cycle distribution relative to control. Both semi-quantitative and quantitative RT-PCR studies revealed a selective down regulation of markers associated with stemness (Nanog, Rex1, SOX-2, and hTERT); cardiac mesoderm (Cripto1, MEF-2C, and Brachyury); hepatic endoderm (AFP, HNF-3β, HNF-4α, GATA-4, and SOX-17); and neuroectoderm (Nestin, SOX-1, NURR1, NEFH, Synaptophysin, TH, and Olig2) in a drug as well as dose dependent manner indicating abnormal differentiation. Furthermore, a decrease in the expression of AFP and GFAP proteins followed by a dose-dependent reduction in the levels of hCG-β, progesterone-II, and estradiol hormones was demonstrated by immunocytochemistry and ECLIA, respectively. This new and unique approach comprising of DNA cell cycle analysis, germ layer-specific marker expression and hormone levels as endpoints might offer a clinically relevant and commercially viable alternative for predicting in vivo developmental toxicity. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


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.


Pal R.,Manipal University India | Mamidi M.K.,Manipal University India | Mamidi M.K.,Stempeutics Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd | Das A.K.,Stempeutics Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd | Bhonde R.,Manipal University India
Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering | Year: 2013

Post-myocardial infarction cardiomyocytes are the most important target cell types for cardiac repair. Many of the applications envisaged for human embryonic stem cells (hESC)-derived cardiomyocytes demand that the differentiation procedure be robust, cost effective and high yielding. Various lines of evidence including our earlier study suggest that hESCs have distinct preferences to become heart cells. However, a direct comparison between different protocols has not yet been reported to date. Here, we performed a logical and systematic comparison of cardiomyocytes obtained from hESCs via embryoid bodies (EBs) in suspension versus adherent static cultures of feeder-free hES colonies representing three-dimensional (3-D) and two-dimensional (2-D) culture systems, respectively. An in-depth characterization of the beating cells revealed appropriate cardiac marker expression both at gene and protein levels. Despite using similar media, 3-D and 2-D cultures showed significant variation in growth and ability to form beating areas. While the expression of pre-cardiac mesoderm markers like GATA-4, HAND1, Myf5, Msx1, and BMP-IIR remained unaltered; levels of functional heart-specific markers such as MLC-2A/2V, cTnT, ANP, Phospholamban, α-MHC and KV4.3 were substantially up-regulated in 3-D compared to 2-D cultures. Concurrently we observed a sharp decline in the expression of ESC, ectoderm and endoderm markers including Oct-4, Sox-2, NFH, Sox-1, Sox-17 and AFP. Further immunocytochemistry and flow cytometry demonstrated a higher percentage of cells positive for Brachyury, desmin and cardiac troponin in 3-D cultures. Our results underscore the higher efficiency of cardiomyocytes derived via 3-D cultures. This finding enriches our basic understanding of the differentiation pattern in hESC-derived cardiomyocytes. © 2012 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan.


Pal R.,Manipal University India | Mamidi M.K.,Stempeutics Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd | Das A.K.,Stempeutics Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd | Bhonde R.,Manipal University India
Archives of Toxicology | Year: 2012

In vitro disease modeling using pluripotent stem cells can be a fast track screening tool for toxicological testing of candidate drug molecules. Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is one of the most commonly used solvents in drug screening. In the present investigation, we exposed 14- to 21-day-old embryoid bodies (EBs) to three different concentrations of DMSO [0.01% (low dose), 0.1% (medium dose) and 1.0% (high dose)] to identify the safest dose that could effectively be used as solvent. We found that DMSO treatment substantially altered the morphology and attachment of cells in concurrence with a significant reduction in cell viability in a dose-dependent manner. Gene expression studies revealed a selective downregulation of key markers associated with stemness (Oct-4, Sox-2, Nanog and Rex-1); ectoderm (Nestin, TuJ1, NEFH and Keratin-15); mesoderm (HAND-1, MEF-2C, GATA-4 and cardiac-actin); and endoderm (SOX17, HNF-3β, GATA-6 and albumin), indicating an aberrant and untimely differentiation trajectory. Furthermore, immunocytochemistry, flow cytometry and histological analyses demonstrated substantial decrease in the levels of albumin and CK-18 proteins coupled with a massive reduction in the number of cells positive for PAS staining, implicating reduced deposits of glycogen. Our study advocates for the first time that DMSO exposure not only affects the phenotypic characteristics but also induces significant alteration in gene expression, protein content and functionality of the differentiated hepatic cells. Overall, our experiments warrant that hESC-based assays can provide timely alerts about the outcome of widespread applications of DMSO as drug solvent, cryoprotectant and differentiating agent. © Springer-Verlag 2011.

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