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      Concise Review: Amniotic Fluid Stem Cells: The Known, the Unknown, and Potential Regenerative Medicine Applications : Amniotic Fluid Stem Cells in Regenerative Medicine

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      STEM CELLS

      Wiley

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          Abstract

          The amniotic fluid has been identified as an untapped source of cells with broad potential, which possess immunomodulatory properties and do not have the ethical and legal limitations of embryonic stem cells. CD117(c-Kit)+ cells selected from amniotic fluid have been shown to differentiate into cell lineages representing all three embryonic germ layers without generating tumors, making them ideal candidates for regenerative medicine applications. Moreover, their ability to engraft in injured organs and modulate immune and repair responses of host tissues, suggest that transplantation of such cells may be useful for the treatment of various degenerative and inflammatory diseases. Although significant questions remain regarding the origin, heterogeneous phenotype, and expansion potential of amniotic fluid stem cells, evidence to date supports their potential role as a valuable stem cell source for the field of regenerative medicine. Stem Cells 2017;35:1663-1673.

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          Valproic Acid Confers Functional Pluripotency to Human Amniotic Fluid Stem Cells in a Transgene-free Approach

          Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with potential for therapeutic applications can be derived from somatic cells via ectopic expression of a set of limited and defined transcription factors. However, due to risks of random integration of the reprogramming transgenes into the host genome, the low efficiency of the process, and the potential risk of virally induced tumorigenicity, alternative methods have been developed to generate pluripotent cells using nonintegrating systems, albeit with limited success. Here, we show that c-KIT+ human first-trimester amniotic fluid stem cells (AFSCs) can be fully reprogrammed to pluripotency without ectopic factors, by culture on Matrigel in human embryonic stem cell (hESC) medium supplemented with the histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) valproic acid (VPA). The cells share 82% transcriptome identity with hESCs and are capable of forming embryoid bodies (EBs) in vitro and teratomas in vivo. After long-term expansion, they maintain genetic stability, protein level expression of key pluripotency factors, high cell-division kinetics, telomerase activity, repression of X-inactivation, and capacity to differentiate into lineages of the three germ layers, such as definitive endoderm, hepatocytes, bone, fat, cartilage, neurons, and oligodendrocytes. We conclude that AFSC can be utilized for cell banking of patient-specific pluripotent cells for potential applications in allogeneic cellular replacement therapies, pharmaceutical screening, and disease modeling.
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            Amniotic fluid as a novel source of mesenchymal stem cells for therapeutic transplantation.

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              Molecular and proteomic characterization of human mesenchymal stem cells derived from amniotic fluid: comparison to bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells.

              Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) constitute a population of multipotent adherent cells able to give rise to multiple mesenchymal lineages such as osteoblasts, adipocytes, or chondrocytes. So far, the most common source of MSCs has been the bone marrow (BM); however BM-MSC harvesting and processing exhibits major drawbacks and limitations. Thus, identification and characterization of alternative sources of MSCs are of great importance. In the present study, we isolated and expanded fetal MSCs from second-trimester amniotic fluid (AF). We documented that these cells are of embryonic origin, can differentiate under appropriate conditions into cell types derived from all three germ layers, and express the pluripotency marker Oct-4, the human Nanog protein, and the stage-specific embryonic antigen-4 (SSEA-4). Furthermore, we systematically tested the immunophenotype of cultured MSCs by flow cytometry analysis using a wide variety of markers. Direct comparison of this phenotype to the one derived from cultured BM-MSCs demonstrated that cultured MSCs from both sources exhibit similar expression patterns. Using the two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) approach, we have generated for the first time the protein map of cultured AF-MSCs by identifying 261 proteins, and we compared it directly to that of cultured BM-MSCs. The functional pattern of the identified proteins from both sources was similar. However, cultured AF-MSCs displayed a number of unique proteins related to proliferation and primitive phenotype, which may confer to the distinct features of the two types. Considering the easy access to this new cell source and the yield of expanded MSCs for stem cell research, AF may provide an excellent source of MSCs both for basic research and for potential therapeutic applications.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                STEM CELLS
                Stem Cells
                Wiley
                10665099
                July 2017
                July 2017
                June 25 2017
                : 35
                : 7
                : 1663-1673
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Section, Developmental Biology and Cancer Programme; Institute of Child Health, University College London; London United Kingdom
                Article
                10.1002/stem.2553
                28009066
                © 2017

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