Editorial: Our Top 10 Developments in Stem Cell Biology over the Last 30 Years

The Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, The International Centre for Life, Central Parkway, Newcastle upon Tyne. NE1 3BZ. United Kingdom. .
Stem Cells (Impact Factor: 6.52). 01/2012; 30(1):2-9. DOI: 10.1002/stem.1007
Source: PubMed


To celebrate 30 years of peer-reviewed publication of cutting edge stem cell research in Stem Cells, the first journal devoted to this promising field, we pause to review how far we have come in the three-decade lifetime of the Journal. To do this, we will present our views of the 10 most significant developments that have advanced stem cell biology where it is today. With the increasing rate of new data, it is natural that the bulk of these developments would have occurred in recent years, but we must not think that stem cell biology is a young science. The idea of a stem cell has actually been around for quite a long time having appeared in the scientific literature as early as 1868 with Haeckels' concept of a stamzelle as an uncommitted or undifferentiated cell responsible for producing many types of new cells to repair the body [Naturliche Schopfungsgeschichte, 1868; Berlin: Georg Reimer] but it took many years to obtain hard evidence in support of this theory. Not until the work of James Till and Ernest McCulloch in the 1960s did we have proof of the existence of stem cells and until the derivation of embryonal carcinoma cells in the 1960s-1970s and the first embryonic stem cell in 1981, such adult or tissue-specific stem cells were the only known class. The first issue of Stem Cells was published in 1981; no small wonder that most of its papers were devoted to hematopoietic progenitors. More recently, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have been developed, and this is proving to be a fertile area of investigation as shown by the volume of publications appearing not only in Stem Cells but also in other journals over the last 5 years. The reader will note that many of the articles in this special issue are concerned with iPSC; however, this reflects the current surge of interest in the topic rather than any deliberate attempt to ignore other areas of stem cell investigation.

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Available from: Terry R J Lappin, Oct 09, 2015
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    • "After exercise or muscle injury, large numbers of new muscle fibers are normally formed within a week because of expansion and differentiation of muscle satellite cells as a stem cell population for muscle regeneration. In the same year, Till and McCulloch first established the concept of stem cells using bone marrow transplantation into irradiated mice (Till and McCulloch, 1961; Armstrong et al., 2012). They found that donor-derived hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) or progenitor cells can be colonized in the recipient spleen after transplantation. "
    Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology 02/2014; 2(2). DOI:10.3389/fcell.2014.00002
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    • "The last decades have seen major improvements in stem cell research and the translational application of adult stem cells (Armstrong et al., 2012). This has led to numerous clinical trials to investigate the efficacy of various types of stem cells to treat immune disorders, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disease, bone and cartilage repair, and type I diabetes (Busch et al., 2011b; Trounson et al., 2011; Penn et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: The last decade has seen much progress in adjunctive cell therapy for immune disorders. Both corporate and institutional Phase III studies have been run using mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) for treatment of Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD), and product approval has been achieved for treatment of pediatric GvHD in Canada and New Zealand (Prochymal(®); Osiris Therapeutics). This effectiveness has prompted the prophylactic use of adherent stem cells at the time of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) to prevent occurrence of GvHD and possibly provide stromal support for hematopoietic recovery. The MultiStem(®) product is an adult adherent stem cell product derived from bone marrow which has significant clinical exposure. MultiStem cells are currently in phase II clinical studies for treatment of ischemic stroke and ulcerative colitis, with Phase I studies completed in acute myocardial infarction and for GvHD prophylaxis in allogeneic HSCT, demonstrating that MultiStem administration was well tolerated while the incidence and severity of GvHD was reduced. In advancing this clinical approach, it is important to recognize that alternate models exist based on clinical manufacturing strategies. Corporate sponsors exploit the universal donor properties of adherent stem cells and manufacture at large scale, with many products obtained from one or limited donors and used across many patients. In Europe, institutional sponsors often produce allogeneic product in a patient designated context. For this approach, disposable bioreactors producing <10 products/donor in a closed system manner are very well suited. In this review, the use of adherent stem cells for GvHD prophylaxis is summarized and the suitability of disposable bioreactors for MultiStem production is presented, with an emphasis on quality control parameters, which are critical with a multiple donor approach for manufacturing.
    Frontiers in Immunology 11/2012; 3:345. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2012.00345
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Members of the Transforming Growth Factor-beta (TGFβ) superfamily of cytokines are essential for early embryonic development and play crucial roles in pluripotency and differentiation of embryonic stem cells in vitro. Scope of review: In this review, we discuss how TGFβ family signals are read by cells and how they are modulated by the cellular context. Furthermore, we review recent advances in our understanding of TGFβ function in embryonic stem cells and point out hot topics at the intersection of TGFβ signaling and stem cell biology fields. Major conclusion: TGFβ family signals are essential for early mammalian development and the importance of this pathway is reflected in pluripotent stem cells derived from the mammalian embryo. General significance: Understanding signaling pathways underlying pluripotency and cell fate specification holds promises for the advent of personalized regenerative medicine. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Biochemistry of Stem Cells.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 09/2012; 1830(2). DOI:10.1016/j.bbagen.2012.08.025 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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