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  • Intraperitoneal infusion of mesenchymal stem cell attenuates severity of collagen antibody induced arthritis.
  • PLoS One. 2018 Jun 7;13(6):e0198740. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0198740. eCollection 2018. / Nam Y
  • Author Nam Y, Jung SM

    It is unclear how systemic administration of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) controls local inflammation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic effects of human MSCs on inflammatory arthritis and to identify the underlying mechanisms. Mice with collagen antibody-induced arthritis (CAIA) received two intraperitoneal injections of human bone marrow-derived MSCs. The clinical and histological features of injected CAIA were then compared with those of non-injected mice. The effect of MSCs on induction of regulatory T cells was examined both in vitro and in vivo. We also examined multiple cytokines secreted by peritoneal mononuclear cells, along with migration of MSCs in the presence of stromal cell-derived factor-1 alpha (SDF-1α) and/or regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES). Sections of CAIA mouse joints and spleen were stained for human anti-nuclear antibodies (ANAs) to confirm migration of injected human MSCs. The results showed that MSCs alleviated the clinical and histological signs of synovitis in CAIA mice. Peritoneal lavage cells from mice treated with MSCs expressed higher levels of SDF-1α and RANTES than those from mice not treated with MSCs. MSC migration was more prevalent in the presence of SDF-1α and/or RANTES. MSCs induced CD4+ T cells to differentiate into regulatory T cells in vitro, and expression of FOXP3 mRNA was upregulated in the forepaws of MSC-treated CAIA mice. Synovial and splenic tissues from CAIA mice receiving human MSCs were positive for human ANA, suggesting recruitment of MSCs. Taken together, these results suggest that MSCs migrate into inflamed tissues and directly induce the differentiation of CD4+ T cells into regulatory T cells, which then suppress inflammation. Thus, systemic administration of MSCs may be a therapeutic option for rheumatoid arthritis.

    Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29879214
  • Arthritic role of Porphyromonas gingivalis in collagen-induced arthritis mice.
  • PLoS One. 2017 Nov 30;12(11):e0188698. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188698. eCollection 2017. / Jung H
  • Author Jung H

    Epidemiological studies show an association between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and periodontal disease. Porphyromonas gingivalis (P.gingivalis) is a well-known pathogen in periodontitis. This study investigated the pathogenic effects of P.gingivalis on autoimmune arthritis in vivo. Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mice were intraperitoneally injected with W83 and 2561 strains of P.gingivalis. Infection with P.gingivalis exacerbated arthritis score in CIA mice. Synovial inflammation and bone destruction in CIA mice infected with P.gingivalis were more severe than in uninfected CIA mice. Both W83 and 2561 strains were more pro-arthritic after arthritis symptom was fully activated. Interestingly, only W83 strain was arthritogenic before autoimmune reaction initiated. Citrullination was detected in synovial tissue of CIA mice and CIA mice inoculated with P.gingivalis, but not in normal control mice. The citrullinated area was greater in P.gingivalis-infected CIA mice than in non-infected CIA mice. This study showed that P.gingivalis exacerbated disease in a mouse model of autoimmune arthritis and increased the expression of citrullinated antigens in the synovium. The arthritogenic effects of P.gingivalis were at least in part, dependent upon the bacterial strain with or without fimbriae expression, route and time of infection. P.gingivalis-mediated citrullination may explain the possible link between periodontal disease and RA.

    Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29190705
  • Autologous iPSC-Based Vaccines Elicit Anti-tumor Responses In Vivo.
  • Cell Stem Cell. 2018 Apr 5;22(4):501-513.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2018.01.016. Epub 2018 Feb 15. / Kooreman NG & Kim Y
  • Author Kooreman NG & Kim Y

    Cancer cells and embryonic tissues share a number of cellular and molecular properties, suggesting that induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) may be harnessed to elicit anti-tumor responses in cancer vaccines. RNA sequencing revealed that human and murine iPSCs express tumor-associated antigens, and we show here a proof of principle for using irradiated iPSCs in autologous anti-tumor vaccines. In a prophylactic setting, iPSC vaccines prevent tumor growth in syngeneic murine breast cancer, mesothelioma, and melanoma models. As an adjuvant, the iPSC vaccine inhibited melanoma recurrence at the resection site and reduced metastatic tumor load, which was associated with fewer Th17 cells and increased CD11b+GR1hi myeloid cells. Adoptive transfer of T cells isolated from vaccine-treated tumor-bearing mice inhibited tumor growth in unvaccinated recipients, indicating that the iPSC vaccine promotes an antigen-specific anti-tumor T cell response. Our data suggest an easy, generalizable strategy for multiple types of cancer that could prove highly valuable in clinical immunotherapy.

    Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29456158
  • Chondrogenic Pellet Formation from Cord Blood-derived Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.
  • J Vis Exp. 2017 Jun 19;(124). doi: 10.3791/55988. / Nam Y
  • Author Nam Y

    Human articular cartilage lacks the ability to repair itself. Cartilage degeneration is thus treated not by curative but by conservative treatments. Currently, efforts are being made to regenerate damaged cartilage with ex vivo expanded chondrocytes or bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs). However, the restricted viability and instability of these cells limit their application in cartilage reconstruction. Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have received scientific attention as a new alternative for regenerative applications. With unlimited self-renewal ability and multipotency, hiPSCs have been highlighted as a new replacement cell source for cartilage repair. However, obtaining a high quantity of high-quality chondrogenic pellets is a major challenge to their clinical application. In this study, we used embryoid body (EB)-derived outgrowth cells for chondrogenic differentiation. Successful chondrogenesis was confirmed by PCR and staining with alcian blue, toluidine blue, and antibodies against collagen types I and II (COL1A1 and COL2A1, respectively). We provide a detailed method for the differentiation of cord blood mononuclear cell-derived iPSCs (CBMC-hiPSCs) into chondrogenic pellets.

    Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28654049
  • Current Therapeutic Strategies for Stem Cell-Based Cartilage Regeneration.
  • Stem Cells Int. 2018 Mar 25;2018:8490489. doi: 10.1155/2018/8490489. eCollection 2018. / Nam Y
  • Author Nam Y

    The process of cartilage destruction in the diarthrodial joint is progressive and irreversible. This destruction is extremely difficult to manage and frustrates researchers, clinicians, and patients. Patients often take medication to control their pain. Surgery is usually performed when pain becomes uncontrollable or joint function completely fails. There is an unmet clinical need for a regenerative strategy to treat cartilage defect without surgery due to the lack of a suitable regenerative strategy. Clinicians and scientists have tried to address this using stem cells, which have a regenerative potential in various tissues. Cartilage may be an ideal target for stem cell treatment because it has a notoriously poor regenerative potential. In this review, we describe past, present, and future strategies to regenerate cartilage in patients. Specifically, this review compares a surgical regenerative technique (microfracture) and cell therapy, cell therapy with and without a scaffold, and therapy with nonaggregated and aggregated cells. We also review the chondrogenic potential of cells according to their origin, including autologous chondrocytes, mesenchymal stem cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells.

    Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29765426
  • Different Chondrogenic Potential among Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from Diverse Origin Primary Cells.
  • Stem Cells Int. 2018 Jan 21;2018:9432616. doi: 10.1155/2018/9432616. eCollection 2018. / Rim YA
  • Author Rim YA

    Scientists have tried to reprogram various origins of primary cells into human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). Every somatic cell can theoretically become a hiPSC and give rise to targeted cells of the human body. However, there have been debates on the controversy about the differentiation propensity according to the origin of primary cells. We reprogrammed hiPSCs from four different types of primary cells such as dermal fibroblasts (DF, n = 3), peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC, n = 3), cord blood mononuclear cells (CBMC, n = 3), and osteoarthritis fibroblast-like synoviocytes (OAFLS, n = 3). Established hiPSCs were differentiated into chondrogenic pellets. All told, cartilage-specific markers tended to express more by the order of CBMC > DF > PBMC > FLS. Origin of primary cells may influence the reprogramming and differentiation thereafter. In the context of chondrogenic propensity, CBMC-derived hiPSCs can be a fairly good candidate cell source for cartilage regeneration. The differentiation of hiPSCs into chondrocytes may help develop "cartilage in a dish" in the future. Also, the ideal cell source of hiPSC for chondrogenesis may contribute to future application as well.

    Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29535785
  • Interrupting oral infection of Porphyromonas gingivalis with anti-FimA antibody attenuates bacterial dissemination to the arthritic joint and improves experimental arthritis.
  • Exp Mol Med. 2018 Mar 23;50(3):e460. doi: 10.1038/emm.2017.301. / Jeong SH
  • Author Jeong SH

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that typically results in strong inflammation and bone destruction in the joints. It is generally known that the pathogenesis of RA is linked to cardiovascular and periodontal diseases. Though rheumatoid arthritis and periodontitis share many pathologic features such as a perpetual inflammation and bone destruction, the precise mechanism underlying a link between these two diseases has not been fully elucidated. Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mice were orally infected with Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg) or Pg preincubated with an anti-FimA antibody (FimA Ab) specific for fimbriae that are flexible appendages on the cell surface. Pg-infected CIA mice showed oral microbiota disruption and increased alveolar bone loss and had synovitis and joint bone destruction. However, preincubation with FimA Ab led to a significant reduction in the severity of both oral disease and arthritis. Moreover, FimA Ab attenuated bacterial attachment and aggregation on human gingival and rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts. In addition, we discovered bacteria may utilize dendritic cells, macrophages and neutrophils to migrate into the joints of CIA mice. These results suggest that disrupting Pg fimbriae function by FimA Ab ameliorates RA.

    Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29568073
  • Kruppel-like Factor 4 Positively Regulates Autoimmune Arthritis in Mouse Models and Rheumatoid Arthritis in Patients via Modulating Cell Survival and Inflammation Factors of Fibroblast-like Synoviocyte
  • Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.01339 / seungjin choi
  • Author seungjin choi

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes mild to severe joint inflammation. During RA pathogenesis, fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) acquire a tumor-like phenotype and mediate cartilage destruction both directly and indirectly by producing proinflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). KLF4, a member of the KLF family, plays significant roles in cell survival, proliferation, and differentiation. A recent study reported increased expression of KLF4 in synovial tissue from RA patients. However, its precise role in rheumatoid arthritis in different models, including mouse autoimmune disease models, remains unclear. In this study, we examined the role of KLF4 during development of autoimmune arthritis in mouse models. To do this, we used KLF4 knockout mice rendered by Ribonucleic acid (RNA)-guided endonuclease (RGEN) and performed collagen antibody-induced arthritis (CAIA). We found that deletion of KLF4 reduces inflammation induced by CAIA. In addition, we assessed collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in control mice and KLF4-overexpressing mice generated by a minicircle vector treatment. Severity of CIA in mice overexpressing KLF4 was greater than that in mice injected with control vector. Finally, we verified inflammatory roles of KLF4 in CIA by treating Kenpaullone used as KLF4 inhibitor. Next, we focused on human/mouse FLS to discover the cellular process involved in RA pathogenesis including proliferation, apoptosis and inflammation including MMPs. In FLS, KLF4 upregulated expression of mRNA encoding proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-6. KLF4 also regulated expression of MMP13 in the synovium. We found that blockade of KLF4 in FLS increased apoptosis and suppressed proliferation followed by downregulation of anti-apoptotic factor BCL2. Our results indicate that KLF4 plays a crucial role in pathogenesis of inflammatory arthritis in vivo, by regulating apoptosis, MMP expression, and cytokine expression by FLS. Thus, KLF4 might be a novel transcription factor for generating RA by modulating cellular process of FLS.

    Link https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2018.01339/abstract
  • Mesenchymal stem cells ameliorate experimental arthritis via expression of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist.
  • PLoS One. 2018 Feb 26;13(2):e0193086. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0193086. eCollection 2018. / Lee K
  • Author Lee K

    Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been observed to inhibit arthritis in experimental animal models such as collagen-induced arthritis. However, the exact anti-inflammatory mechanisms remain poorly understood. Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) is an anti-inflammatory cytokine produced by immune and stromal cells. We postulated that MSCs could produce IL-1Ra and attenuate experimental arthritis. In this study, 5x106 MSCs were injected into the peritoneal cavity of IL-1Ra knockout (IL-1RaKO) mice. MSCs reduced the severity of the arthritis by histology and decreased pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in IL-1RaKO mice. The ratio of splenic T helper 17 (Th17) cells to regulatory T cells (Treg) was significantly decreased in MSC-injected IL-1RaKO mice. Purified splenic CD4+ T cells from mice in each of the treatment groups were cultured under Th17 polarizing conditions and analyzed by flow cytometry. Less expansion of the Th17 population was observed in the MSC-treated group. Interestingly, MSCs expressed inducible IL-1Ra against inflammatory environmental stimuli. Human recombinant IL-1Ra could suppress Th17 cells differentiation under Th17 polarizing conditions. These results indicate that IL-1Ra expressed by MSCs can inhibit Th17 polarization and decrease the immune response in IL-1RaKO mice. Therefore, MSC-derived IL-1Ra may inhibit inflammation in IL-1RaKO mice via effects on Th17 differentiation.

    Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29481574
  • Recent progress of national banking project on homozygous HLA-typed induced pluripotent stem cells in South Korea.
  • J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2018 Mar;12(3):e1531-e1536. doi: 10.1002/term.2578. Epub 2017 Nov 10. / Rim YA
  • Author Rim YA

    Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be generated by introducing several factors into mature somatic cells. Banking of iPSCs can lead to wider application for treatment and research. In an economical view, it is important to store cells that can cover a high percentage of the population. Therefore, the use of homozygous human leukocyte antigen-iPSCs (HLA-iPSCs) is thought as a potential candidate for effective iPSC banking system for further clinical use. We screened the database stored in the Catholic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Bank of Korea and sorted the most frequent homozygous HLA types of the South Korean population. Blood cells with the selected homozygous HLA types were obtained and transferred to the GMP facility in the Catholic Institute of Cell Therapy. Cells were reprogrammed to iPSCs inside the facility and went through several quality controls. As a result, a total of 13 homozygous GMP-grade iPSC lines were obtained in the facility. The generated iPSCs showed high pluripotency and normal karyotype after reprogramming. Five HLA-homozygous iPSCs had the type that was included in the top five most frequent HLA types. Homozygous HLA-iPSCs can open a new opportunity for further application of iPSCs in clinical research and therapy.

    Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28941241
  • Repair Potential of Non-surgically Delivered Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-derived Chondrocytes in a Rat Osteochondral Defect Model.
  • J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2018 May 16. doi: 10.1002/term.2705. [Epub ahead of print] / Rim YA & Nam Y
  • Author Rim YA & Nam Y

    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are thought to be an alternative cell source for future regenerative medicine. hiPSCs may allow unlimited production of cell types that have low turnover rates and are difficult to obtain such as autologous chondrocytes. In this study, we generated hiPSC-derived chondrogenic pellets and chondrocytes were isolated. To confirm the curative effects, chondrogenic pellets and isolated chondrocytes were transplanted into rat joints with osteochondral defects. Isolated hiPSC-derived chondrocytes were delivered in the defect by a single intra-articular injection. The generated hiPSC-derived chondrogenic pellets had increased chondrogenic marker expression and accumulated ECM proteins. Chondrocytes were successfully isolated from the pellets. Alcian blue staining and collagen type II were detected in the cells. Chondrogenic marker expression was also increased in the isolated cells. Transplanted chondrogenic pellets and chondrocytes both had curative effects in the osteochondral defect rat model. Detection of human proteins in the joints proved that the cells were successfully delivered into the defect. Chondrogenic pellets or chondrocytes generated from hiPSCs have potential as regenerative medicine for cartilage recovery or regeneration. Chondrocytes isolated from hiPSC-derived chondrogenic pellets had curative effects in damaged cartilage. Injectable hiPSC-derived chondrocytes show the possibility of non-invasive delivery of regenerative medicine for cartilage recovery.

    Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29770595
  • Chondrogenic Differentiation Induction of Adipose-derived Stem Cells by Centrifugal Gravity
  • J Vis Exp. 2017 Feb 24;(120). doi: 10.3791/54934. / Jang Y
  • Author Jang Y

    Impaired cartilage cannot heal naturally. Currently, the most advanced therapy for defects in cartilage is the transplantation of chondrocytes differentiated from stem cells using cytokines. Unfortunately, cytokine-induced chondrogenic differentiation is costly, time-consuming, and associated with a high risk of contamination during in vitro differentiation. However, biomechanical stimuli also serve as crucial regulatory factors for chondrogenesis. For example, mechanical stress can induce chondrogenic differentiation of stem cells, suggesting a potential therapeutic approach for the repair of impaired cartilage. In this study, we demonstrated that centrifugal gravity (CG, 2,400 × g), a mechanical stress easily applied by centrifugation, induced the upregulation of sex determining region Y (SRY)-box 9 (SOX9) in adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs), causing them to express chondrogenic phenotypes. The centrifuged ASCs expressed higher levels of chondrogenic differentiation markers, such as aggrecan (ACAN), collagen type 2 alpha 1 (COL2A1), and collagen type 1 (COL1), but lower levels of collagen type 10 (COL10), a marker of hypertrophic chondrocytes. In addition, chondrogenic aggregate formation, a prerequisite for chondrogenesis, was observed in centrifuged ASCs.

    Link http://www.jove.com/video/54934/chondrogenic-differentiation-induction-adipose-derived-stem-cells?status=a56940k
  • Cord blood cell-derived iPSCs as a new candidate for chondrogenic differentiation and cartilage regeneration
  • Stem Cell Res Ther. 2017 Jan 28;8(1):16. doi: 10.1186/s13287-017-0477-6. / Nam Y
  • Author Nam Y, Rim YA, Jung SM, Ju JH.


    The native articular cartilage lacks the ability to heal. Currently, ex vivo expanded chondrocytes or bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells are used to regenerate the damaged cartilage. With unlimited self-renewal ability and multipotency, human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have been highlighted as a new replacement cell source for cartilage repair. Still, further research is needed on cartilage regeneration using cord blood mononuclear cell-derived hiPSCs (CBMC-hiPSCs).


    Human iPSCs were generated from CBMCs using the Sendai virus. The characterization of CBMC-hiPSCs was performed by various assays. Embryonic bodies (EBs) were obtained using CBMC-hiPSCs, and outgrowth cells were induced by plating the EBs onto a gelatin-coated plate. Expanded outgrowth cells were detached and dissociated for chondrogenic differentiation. Outgrowth cells were differentiated into chondrogenic lineage with pellet culture. Chondrogenic pellets were maintained for 30 days. The quality of chondrogenic pellets was evaluated using various staining and genetic analysis of cartilage-specific markers.


    Reprogramming was successfully done using CBMCs. CBMC-hiPSCs (n = 3) showed high pluripotency and normal karyotype. Chondrogenic pellets were generated from the outgrowth cells derived from CBMC-hiPSC EBs. The generated chondrogenic pellets showed high expression of chondrogenic genetic markers such as ACAN, COMP, COL2A1, and SOX9. The production of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins was confirmed by safranin O, alcian blue and toluidine blue staining. Expression of collagen type II and aggrecan was detected in the accumulated ECM by immunohistological staining. Chondrogenic pellets showed low expression of fibrotic and hypertrophic cartilage marker, collagen type I and X.


    This study reveals the potential of CBMC-hiPSCs as a promising candidate for cartilage regeneration.


    Cartilage regeneration; Chondrocytes; Cord blood mononuclear cells; Induced pluripotent stem cells; Regenerative medicine

    Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28129782
  • Etanercept-Synthesising Mesenchymal Stem Cells Efficiently Ameliorate Collagen-Induced Arthritis.
  • Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 13;7:39593. doi: 10.1038/srep39593. / Park N
  • Author Park N

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have multiple properties including anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects in various disease models and clinical treatments. These beneficial effects, however, are sometimes inconsistent and unpredictable. For wider and proper application, scientists sought to improve MSC functions by engineering. We aimed to invent a novel method to produce synthetic biological drugs from engineered MSCs. We investigated the anti-arthritic effect of engineered MSCs in a collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model. Biologics such as etanercept are the most successful drugs used in anti-cytokine therapy. Biologics are made of protein components, and thus can be theoretically produced from cells including MSCs. MSCs were transfected with recombinant minicircles encoding etanercept (trade name, Enbrel), which is a tumour necrosis factor α blocker currently used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. We confirmed minicircle expression in MSCs in vitro based on GFP. Etanercept production was verified from the conditioned media. We confirmed that self-reproduced etanercept was biologically active in vitro. Arthritis subsided more efficiently in CIA mice injected with mcTNFR2MSCs than in those injected with conventional MSCs or etanercept only. Although this novel strategy is in a very early conceptual stage, it seems to represent a potential alternative method for the delivery of biologics and engineering MSCs.

    Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28084468
  • A Dual Target-directed Agent against Interleukin-6 Receptor and Tumor Necrosis Factor α ameliorates experimental arthritis.
  • Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 4;6:20150. doi: 10.1038/srep20150. / Kim Y
  • Author Kim Y

    A considerable proportion of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) do not respond to monospecific agents. The purpose of our study was to generate a hybrid form of biologics, targeting tumor-necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R), and determine its anti-arthritic properties in vitro and in vivo. A novel dual target-directed agent (DTA(A7/sTNFR2)) was generated by conjugating soluble TNF receptor 2 (sTNFR2) to the Fc region of A7, a new anti-IL-6R antibody obtained by screening the phage display human antibody library. DTA(A7/sTNFR2) inhibited the proliferation and migration of fibroblast-like synoviocytes from patients with RA (RA-FLS) more efficiently than single target-directed agents. DTA(A7/sTNFR2) also blocked osteoclastogenesis from bone marrow cells. The arthritis severity scores of the experimental arthritis mice with DTA(A7/sTNFR2) tended to be lower than those of mice with IgG, A7, or sTNFR2. Histological data suggested that DTA(A7/sTNFR2) is more efficient than single-target drugs in preventing joint destruction and bone loss. These results were confirmed in vivo using the minicircle system. Taken together, the results show that DTA(A7/sTNFR2) may be a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of RA.

    Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26841833
  • Centrifugal gravity-induced BMP4 induces chondrogenic differentiation of adipose-derived stem cells via SOX9 upregulation.
  • Stem Cell Res Ther. 2016 Dec 8;7(1):184. / Jang Y
  • Author Jang Y, Jung H, Nam Y, Rim YA, Kim J, Jeong SH, Ju JH.


    Cartilage does not have the capability to regenerate itself. Therefore, stem cell transplantation is a promising therapeutic approach for impaired cartilage. For stem cell transplantation, in vitro enrichment is required; however, stem cells not only become senescent but also lose their differentiation potency during this process. In addition, cytokines are normally used for chondrogenic differentiation induction of stem cells, which is highly expensive and needs an additional step to culture. In this study, we introduced a novel method to induce chondrogenic differentiation of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs), which are more readily available than bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells(bMSCs), using centrifugal gravity (CG).


    ASCs were stimulated by loading different degrees of CG (0, 300, 600, 1200, 2400, and 3600 g) to induce chondrogenic differentiation. The expression of chondrogenic differentiation-related genes was examined by RT-PCR, real-time PCR, and western blot analyses. The chondrogenic differentiation of ASCs stimulated with CG was evaluated by comparing the expression of positive markers [aggrecan (ACAN) and collagen type II alpha 1 (COL2A1)] and negative markers (COL1 and COL10) with that in ASCs stimulated with transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 using micromass culture, immunofluorescence, and staining (Alcian Blue and Safranin O).


    Expression of SOX9 and SOX5 was upregulated by CG (2400 g for 30 min). Increased expression of ACAN and COL2A1 (positive markers) was detected in monolayer-cultured ASCs after CG stimulation, whereas that of COL10 (a negative marker) was not. Expression of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) 4, an upstream stimulator of SOX9, was upregulated by CG, which was inhibited by Dorsomorphin (an inhibitor of BMP4). Increased expression of proteoglycan, a major component of cartilage, was confirmed in the micromass culture of ASCs stimulated with CG by Alcian Blue and Safranin O staining.


    Chondrogenic differentiation of ASCs can be induced by optimized CG (2400 g for 30 min). Expression of SOX9 is upregulated by CG via increased expression of BMP4. CG has a similar ability to induce SOX9 expression as TGF-β1.

    Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27931264
  • Generation of Functional Cardiomyocytes from the Synoviocytes of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis via Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.
  • Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 9;6:32669. doi: 10.1038/srep32669. / Lee J & Jung SM
  • Author Lee J & Jung SM

    Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of morbidity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. This study aimed to generate and characterise cardiomyocytes from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) of RA patients. Fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) from patients with RA and osteoarthritis (OA) were successfully reprogrammed into RA-iPSCs and OA-iPSCs, respectively. The pluripotency of iPSCs was confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and immunofluorescence staining. Established iPSCs were differentiated into cardiomyocytes using a small molecule-based monolayer differentiation protocol. Within 12 days of cardiac differentiation from patient-specific and control-iPSCs, spontaneously beating cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) were observed. All iPSC-CMs exhibited a reliable sarcomeric structure stained with antibodies against cardiac markers and similar expression profiles of cardiac-specific genes. Intracellular calcium signalling was recorded to compare calcium-handling properties among cardiomyocytes differentiated from the three groups of iPSCs. RA-iPSC-CMs had a lower amplitude and a shorter duration of calcium transients than the control groups. Peak tangential stress and the maximum contractile rate were also decreased in RA-iPSC-CMs, suggesting that contractility was reduced. This study demonstrates the successful generation of functional cardiomyocytes from pathogenic synovial cells in RA patients through iPSC reprogramming. Research using RA-iPSC-CMs might provide an opportunity to investigate the pathophysiology of cardiac involvement in RA.

    Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27609119
  • Generation of Induced-pluripotent Stem Cells Using Fibroblast-like Synoviocytes Isolated from Joints of Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients.
  • J Vis Exp. 2016 Oct 16;(116). doi: 10.3791/54072. / Rim YA
  • Author Rim YA


    Mature somatic cells can be reversed into a pluripotent stem cell-like state using a defined set of reprogramming factors. Numerous studies have generated induced-Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) from various somatic cell types by transducing four Yamanaka transcription factors: Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc. The study of iPSCs remains at the cutting edge of biological and clinical research. In particular, patient-specific iPSCs can be used as a pioneering tool for the study of disease pathobiology, since iPSCs can be induced from the tissue of any individual. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease, classified by the destruction of cartilage and bone structure in the joint. Synovial hyperplasia is one of the major reasons or symptoms that lead to these results in RA. Fibroblast-like Synoviocytes (FLSs) are the main component cells in the hyperplastic synovium. FLSs in the joint limitlessly proliferate, eventually invading the adjacent cartilage and bone. Currently, the hyperplastic synovium can be removed only by a surgical procedure. The removed synovium is used for RA research as a material that reflects the inflammatory condition of the joint. As a major player in the pathogenesis of RA, FLSs can be used as a material to generate and investigate the iPSCs of RA patients. In this study, we used the FLSs of a RA patient to generate iPSCs. Using a lentiviral system, we discovered that FLSs can generate RA patient-specific iPSC. The iPSCs generated from FLSs can be further used as a tool to study the pathophysiology of RA in the future.

    Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27805584
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Generation from Blood Cells Using Sendai Virus and Centrifugation
  • J Vis Exp. 2016 Dec 21;(118). doi: 10.3791/54650. / Rim YA
  • Author Rim YA

    The recent development of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) proved that mature somatic cells can return to an undifferentiated, pluripotent state. Now, reprogramming is done with various types of adult somatic cells: keratinocytes, urine cells, fibroblasts, etc. Early experiments were usually done with dermal fibroblasts. However, this required an invasive surgical procedure to obtain fibroblasts from the patients. Therefore, suspension cells, such as blood and urine cells, were considered ideal for reprogramming because of the convenience of obtaining the primary cells. Here, we report an efficient protocol for iPSC generation from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). By plating the transduced PBMCs serially to a new, matrix-coated plate using centrifugation, this protocol can easily provide iPSC colonies. This method is also applicable to umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (CBMCs). This study presents a simple and efficient protocol for the reprogramming of PBMCs and CBMCs.

    Link http://www.jove.com/video/54650/induced-pluripotent-stem-cell-generation-from-blood-cells-using
  • The Generation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from Blood Cells: An Efficient Protocol Using Serial Plating of Reprogrammed Cells by Centrifugation.
  • Stem Cells Int. 2016;2016:1329459. doi: 10.1155/2016/1329459. Epub 2016 Aug 4. / Kim Y & Rim YA
  • Author Kim Y & Rim YA,Yi H, Park N, Park SH, Ju JH.

    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have demonstrated great potential for differentiation into diverse tissues. We report a straightforward and highly efficient method for the generation of iPSCs from PBMCs. By plating the cells serially to a newly coated plate by centrifugation, this protocol provides multiple healthy iPSC colonies even from a small number of PBMCs. The generated iPSCs expressed pluripotent markers and differentiated into all three germ layer lineages. The protocol can also be used with umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (CBMCs). In this study, we present a simple and efficient protocol that improved the yield of iPSCs from floating cells such as PBMCs and CBMCs by serial plating and centrifugation.

    Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27579041
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