Kim et al., J Am Coll Cardiol, 2014

Cell therapy for cardiovascular disease has been limited by low engraftment of administered cells and modest therapeutic effects. Bone marrow (BM) -derived CD31(+) cells are a promising cell source owing to their high angiovasculogenic and paracrine activities. This study sought to identify culture conditions that could augment the cell adhesion, angiogenic, and anti-inflammatory activities of BM-derived CD31(+) cells, and to determine whether these cultured CD31(+) cells are effective for cardiac and vascular repair. CD31(+) cells were isolated from human BM by magnetic-activated cell sorting and cultured for 10 days under hematopoietic stem cell, mesenchymal stem cell, or endothelial cell culture conditions. These cells were characterized by adhesion, angiogenesis, and inflammatory assays. The best of the cultured cells were implanted into myocardial infarction (MI) and hindlimb ischemia (HLI) models to determine therapeutic effects and underlying mechanisms. The CD31(+) cells cultured in endothelial cell medium (EC-CD31(+) cells) showed the highest adhesion and angiogenic activities and lowest inflammatory properties in vitro compared with uncultured or other cultured CD31(+) cells. When implanted into mouse MI or HLI models, EC-CD31(+) cells improved cardiac function and repaired limb ischemia to a greater extent than uncultured CD31(+) cells. Histologically, injected EC-CD31(+) cells exhibited higher retention, neovascularization, and cardiomyocyte proliferation. Importantly, cell retention and endothelial transdifferentiation was sustained up to 1 year. Short-term cultured EC-CD31(+) cells have higher cell engraftment, vessel-formation, cardiomyocyte proliferation, and anti-inflammatory potential, are highly effective for both cardiac and peripheral vascular repair, and enhance survival of mice with heart failure. These cultured CD31(+) cells may be a promising source for treating ischemic cardiovascular diseases.

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Wile et al., Nat Protoc, 2014

Molecular beacons (MBs) are dual-labeled oligonucleotides that fluoresce only in the presence of complementary mRNA. The use of MBs to target specific mRNAs allows sorting of specific cells from a mixed cell population. In contrast to existing approaches that are limited by available surface markers or selectable metabolic characteristics, the MB-based method enables the isolation of a wide variety of cells. For example, the ability to purify specific cell types derived from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) is important for basic research and therapeutics. In addition to providing a general protocol for MB design, validation and nucleofection into cells, we describe how to isolate a specific cell population from differentiating PSCs. By using this protocol, we have successfully isolated cardiomyocytes differentiated from mouse or human PSCs (hPSCs) with ∼ 97% purity, as confirmed by electrophysiology and immunocytochemistry. After designing MBs, their ordering and validation requires 2 weeks, and the isolation process requires 3 h.

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Ban et al., ACS Nano, 2014

A significant barrier to the therapeutic use of stem cells is poor cell retention in vivo. Here, we evaluate the therapeutic potential and long-term engraftment of cardiomyocytes (CMs) derived from mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) encapsulated in an injectable nanomatrix gel consisting of peptide amphiphiles incorporating cell adhesive ligand Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser (PA-RGDS) in experimental myocardial infarction (MI). We cultured rat neonatal CMs in PA-RGDS for 7 days and found that more than 90% of the CMs survived. Next, we intramyocardially injected mouse CM cell line HL-1 CMs with or without PA-RGDS into uninjured hearts. Histologic examination and flow cytometry analysis of digested heart tissues showed approximately 3-fold higher engraftment in the mice that received CMs with PA-RGDS compared to those without PA-RGDS. We further investigated the therapeutic effects and long-term engraftment of mESC-CMs with PA-RGDS on MI in comparison with PBS control, CM-only, and PA-RGDS only. Echocardiography demonstrated that the CM-only and CM+PA-RGDS groups showed higher cardiac function at week 2 compared to other groups. However, from 3 weeks, higher cardiac function was maintained only in the CM+PA-RGDS group; this was sustained for 12 weeks. Confocal microscopic examination of the cardiac tissues harvested at 14 weeks demonstrated sustained engraftment and integration of mESC-CMs into host myocardium in the CM+PA-RGDS group only. This study for the first time demonstrated that PA-RGDS encapsulation can enhance survival of mESC-derived CMs and improve cardiac function post-MI. This nanomatrix gel-mediated stem cell therapy can be a promising option for treating MI.

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Dabin Choi, awarded with NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program

Yoon lab undergraduate volunteer Dabin Choi, who is a senior student at Emory University, received NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP) offers competitive scholarships to students that are committed to careers in biomedical, behavioral, and social science health-related research. The program offers scholarship support, paid research training […]

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Kim et al., Cell Transplant, 2014

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of diabetes on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in terms of their angiogenic and therapeutic potential for repairing tissue ischemia. We culture-isolated MSCs from streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats (D-MSCs) and compared their proliferation, differentiation, and angiogenic effects with those from normal rats (N-MSCs). The angiogenic effects of MSCs were evaluated by real-time RT-PCR, in vitro tube formation assay, and transplantation of the MSCs into a hindlimb ischemia model followed by laser Doppler perfusion imaging. The number of MSCs derived from diabetic rats was smaller and their proliferation rate was slower than N-MSCs. Upon induction of differentiation, the osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation of D-MSCs were aberrant compared to N-MSCs. The expression of angiogenic factors was lower in D-MSCs than N-MSCs. D-MSCs co-cultured with endothelial cells resulted in decreased tube formation compared to N-MSCs.

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Dr. Yoon is honored with election into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI)

  • 10:38AM May 01, 2014
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EMORY News http://www.news.emory.edu/stories/2014/04/jj_som_emory_faculty_join_asci/index.html Emory faculty members join prestigious ASCI Woodruff Health Sciences Center | April 24, 2014 Three Emory University School of Medicine (SOM) faculty members were honored on April 25 with election into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI). The ASCI is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected medical honor societies […]

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Poole et al., JAMA, 2013

Effect of progenitor cell mobilization with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor in patients with peripheral artery disease: a randomized clinical trial.

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