(1/3936) Dynamics of myoblast transplantation reveal a discrete minority of precursors with stem cell-like properties as the myogenic source.

Myoblasts, the precursors of skeletal muscle fibers, can be induced to withdraw from the cell cycle and differentiate in vitro. Recent studies have also identified undifferentiated subpopulations that can self-renew and generate myogenic cells (Baroffio, A., M. Hamann, L. Bernheim, M.-L. Bochaton-Pillat, G. Gabbiani, and C.R. Bader. 1996. Differentiation. 60:47-57; Yoshida, N., S. Yoshida, K. Koishi, K. Masuda, and Y. Nabeshima. 1998. J. Cell Sci. 111:769-779). Cultured myoblasts can also differentiate and contribute to repair and new muscle formation in vivo, a capacity exploited in attempts to develop myoblast transplantation (MT) for genetic modification of adult muscle. Our studies of the dynamics of MT demonstrate that cultures of myoblasts contain distinct subpopulations defined by their behavior in vitro and divergent responses to grafting. By comparing a genomic and a semiconserved marker, we have followed the fate of myoblasts transplanted into muscles of dystrophic mice, finding that the majority of the grafted cells quickly die and only a minority are responsible for new muscle formation. This minority is behaviorally distinct, slowly dividing in tissue culture, but rapidly proliferative after grafting, suggesting a subpopulation with stem cell-like characteristics.  (+info)

(2/3936) Prospective identification, isolation by flow cytometry, and in vivo self-renewal of multipotent mammalian neural crest stem cells.

Multipotent and self-renewing neural stem cells have been isolated in culture, but equivalent cells have not yet been prospectively identified in neural tissue. Using cell surface markers and flow cytometry, we have isolated neural crest stem cells (NCSCs) from mammalian fetal peripheral nerve. These cells are phenotypically and functionally indistinguishable from NCSCs previously isolated by culturing embryonic neural tube explants. Moreover, in vivo BrdU labeling indicates that these stem cells self-renew in vivo. NCSCs freshly isolated from nerve tissue can be directly transplanted in vivo, where they generate both neurons and glia. These data indicate that neural stem cells persist in peripheral nerve into late gestation by undergoing self-renewal. Such persistence may explain the origins of some PNS tumors in humans.  (+info)

(3/3936) Fludarabine-based non-myeloablative chemotherapy followed by infusion of HLA-identical stem cells for relapsed leukaemia and lymphoma.

Many patients have not been offered potentially curative allogeneic marrow transplants because of the toxicity of myeloablative regimens in the setting of advanced age or organ dysfunction. We treated five patients, ineligible for myeloablative chemotherapy due to one of these criteria, with fludarabine-based non-myeloablative chemotherapy followed by reinfusion of G-CSF-mobilised allogeneic peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPC). Two patients died early of multi-organ failure. Another patient with massive splenomegaly was infused with a suboptimal number of PBPC; no engraftment was documented. The remaining two patients demonstrated mixed chimerism early post-transplant, but by 3 and 6 months respectively, engraftment was almost entirely of donor origin. One of these patients, transplanted with relapsed AML, remains in remission with extensive chronic GVHD at 17 months. The other patient, transplanted with chemorefractory mantle cell lymphoma, progressed early post-transplant but entered remission coincident with the onset of severe GVHD following cessation of cyclosporin A, suggesting a powerful graft-versus-mantle cell lymphoma effect. These preliminary observations suggest this approach results in engraftment and GVHD/graft-versus-tumour effects similar to myeloablative regimens and may provide an alternative in patients ineligible for conventional conditioning regimens.  (+info)

(4/3936) Pattern and kinetics of mouse donor spermatogonial stem cell colonization in recipient testes.

Recently a system was developed in which transplanted donor spermatogonial stem cells establish complete spermatogenesis in the testes of an infertile recipient. To obtain insight into stem cell activity and the behavior of donor germ cells, the pattern and kinetics of mouse spermatogonial colonization in recipient seminiferous tubules were analyzed during the 4 mo following transplantation. The colonization process can be divided into three continuous phases. First, during the initial week, transplanted cells were randomly distributed throughout the tubules, and a small number reached the basement membrane. Second, from 1 wk to 1 mo, donor cells on the basement membrane divided and formed a monolayer network. Third, beginning at about 1 mo and continuing throughout the observation period, cells in the center of the network differentiated extensively and established a colony of spermatogenesis, which expanded laterally by repeating phase two and then three. An average of 19 donor cell-derived colonies developed from 10(6) cells transplanted to the seminiferous tubules of a recipient testis; the number of colonized sites did not change between 1 and 4 mo. However, the length of the colonies increased from 0.73 to 5.78 mm between 1 and 4 mo. These experiments establish the feasibility of studying in a systematic and quantitative manner the pattern and kinetics of the colonization process. Using spermatogonial transplantation as a functional assay, it should be possible to assess the effects of various treatments on stem cells and on recipient seminiferous tubules to provide unique insight into the process of spermatogenesis.  (+info)

(5/3936) Treatment of severe ocular-surface disorders with corneal epithelial stem-cell transplantation.

BACKGROUND: Conditions that destroy the limbal area of the peripheral cornea, such as the Stevens-Johnson syndrome, ocular pemphigoid, and chemical and thermal injuries, can deplete stem cells of the corneal epithelium. The result is scarring and opacification of the normally clear cornea. Standard corneal transplantation cannot treat this form of functional blindness. METHODS: We performed and evaluated 70 transplantations of corneal epithelial stem cells from cadaveric eyes into 43 eyes of 39 patients with severe ocular-surface disorders and limbal dysfunction. Medical treatment had failed in all patients. The patients had a mean preoperative visual acuity of 0.004 (only being able to count the number of fingers presented by the examiner) in the affected eyes, which satisfies the criteria for legal blindness in most countries. In 28 eyes, we also performed standard corneal transplantation. Stem-cell transplantations were performed as many as four times on 1 eye if the initial results were not satisfactory; 19 eyes had multiple transplantations. Patients were followed for at least one year after transplantation. RESULTS: A mean of 1163 days after stem-cell transplantation, 22 of the 43 eyes (51 percent) had corneal epithelialization; of the 22 eyes, 7 eyes had corneal stromal edema and 15 eyes had clear corneas. Mean visual acuity improved from 0.004 to 0.02 (vision sufficient to distinguish the largest symbol on the visual-acuity chart from a distance of 1 m) (P<0.001). The 15 eyes in which the cornea remained clear had a final mean visual acuity of 0.11 (the ability to distinguish the largest symbol from a distance of 5 m). Complications of the first transplantation included persistent defects in the corneal epithelium in 26 eyes, ocular hypertension in 16 eyes, and rejection of the corneal graft in 13 of 28 eyes. The epithelial defects eventually healed in all but two of the eyes. CONCLUSIONS: Transplantation of corneal epithelial stem cells can restore useful vision in some patients with severe ocular-surface disorders.  (+info)

(6/3936) "Global" cell replacement is feasible via neural stem cell transplantation: evidence from the dysmyelinated shiverer mouse brain.

Many diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), particularly those of genetic, metabolic, or infectious/inflammatory etiology, are characterized by "global" neural degeneration or dysfunction. Therapy might require widespread neural cell replacement, a challenge not regarded conventionally as amenable to neural transplantation. Mouse mutants characterized by CNS-wide white matter disease provide ideal models for testing the hypothesis that neural stem cell transplantation might compensate for defective neural cell types in neuropathologies requiring cell replacement throughout the brain. The oligodendrocytes of the dysmyelinated shiverer (shi) mouse are "globally" dysfunctional because they lack myelin basic protein (MBP) essential for effective myelination. Therapy, therefore, requires widespread replacement with MBP-expressing oligodendrocytes. Clonal neural stem cells transplanted at birth-using a simple intracerebroventricular implantation technique-resulted in widespread engraftment throughout the shi brain with repletion of MBP. Accordingly, of the many donor cells that differentiated into oligodendroglia-there appeared to be a shift in the fate of these multipotent cells toward an oligodendroglial fate-a subgroup myelinated up to 52% (mean = approximately 40%) of host neuronal processes with better compacted myelin of a thickness and periodicity more closely approximating normal. A number of recipient animals evinced decrement in their symptomatic tremor. Therefore, "global" neural cell replacement seems feasible for some CNS pathologies if cells with stem-like features are used.  (+info)

(7/3936) The lung in the immunocompromised patient. Infectious complications part 2.

Pulmonary infections decisively contribute to morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. Bacterial, mycobacterial and infections with Pneumocystis carinii have been reviewed in an article in the last issue of Respiration. In this review, viral and fungal pulmonary infections are discussed in HIV-positive patients and in patients treated with high-dose chemotherapy, stem cell or solid-organ transplantation.  (+info)

(8/3936) Optimizing peripheral blood progenitor cell autologous transplantation in multiple myeloma.

As in other malignancies, peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPC) have almost completely replaced bone marrow as the source of stem cells for autologous transplantation in multiple myeloma. PBPC collection could be optimized either by reducing contamination by the malignant clone or by increasing hematopoietic quality of the graft. Currently, the most promising technique for purifying the harvest is CD34 cell selection. Several pilot studies have shown the feasibility of this method in MM. However controlled studies are necessary to assess the clinical impact of CD34+ cell selection. In the IFM 94 study, CD34+ selection was optional. There was no significant difference between 50 patients receiving a CD34+ selected graft and 133 patients receiving non-selected PBPC, as regards duration of neutropenia, duration of thrombocytopenia, response rate, EFS or survival. Hematopoietic recovery after transplantation is related to the number of CD34+ cells infused. The optimal regimen for mobilizing the requested CD34+ yield is not yet known. We have completed a randomized study comparing the combination of SCF plus G-CSF and G-CSF alone after priming with cyclophosphamide 4 g/m2. The median number of leukaphereses to reach the target yield of 5x10(6) CD34+ cells/kg was 1 in the SCF group (N=55) versus 2 in the G-CSF group (N=47) (p=0.008). The median number of CD34+ cells collected in the first leukapheresis was 11. 6x10(6) in the SCF group versus 4x10(6) in the G-CSF group (p=0.003). These results are in line with those observed in other trials testing the combination of SCF and G-CSF to improve PBPC collection.  (+info)