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Open Access Induction of Functional Mesenchymal Stem Cells From Rabbit Embryonic Stem Cells by Exposure to Severe Hypoxic Conditions

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Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have the potential to be used as an unlimited cell source for cell transplantation therapy, as well as for studying mechanisms of disease and early mammalian development. However, applications involving ESCs have been limited by the lack of reliable differentiation methods in many cases. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have also emerged as a promising cell source, but as suggested in recent studies, these cells display limited potential for proliferation and differentiation, thereby limiting their usefulness in the clinic and in the laboratory. Unfortunately, effective methods for induction of MSCs from pluripotent stem cells have not been established, and the development of such methods remains a major challenge facing stem cell biologists. Oxygen concentration is one of the most important factors regulating tissue development. It has profound effects on cell metabolism and physiology and can strongly influence stem cell fate. Here we demonstrate that severelow O2 concentrations (1%) can function as a selective pressure for removing undifferentiated pluripotent cells during the induction of MSCs from rabbit ESCs (rESCs) and that MSCs induced under severe hypoxic conditions function as normal MSCs; that is, they repopulate after cloning, express specific markers (vimentin, CD29, CD90, CD105, and CD140a) and differentiate into adipocytes, osteoblasts, and chondrocytes. Furthermore, we demonstrate that these cells can contribute to cartilage regeneration in an in vivo rabbit model for joint cartilage injury. These results support the notion that exposing ESCs to severe hypoxic conditions during differentiation can be used as a strategy for the preparation of functional MSCs from ESCs.
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Keywords: Chondrocyte; Hypoxia; Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs); Rabbit embryonic stem cell (rESC)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Advanced Clinical Medicine, Kinki University Faculty of Medicine, Osaka, Japan

Publication date: 2013-02-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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