Dr. Yoon is honored with election into ASCI

   

Category Archives: Publications

Lee et al., Sci Rep, 2015

Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) have emerged as an important source for cell therapy. However, to date, no studies demonstrated generation of purified hPSC-derived lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) and tested their therapeutic potential in disease models. Here we sought to differentiate hPSCs into the LEC lineage, purify them with LEC markers, and evaluate their therapeutic effects. We found that an OP9-assisted culture system reinforced by addition of VEGF-A, VEGF-C, and EGF most efficiently generated LECs, which were then isolated via FACS-sorting with LYVE-1 and PODOPLANIN. These hPSC-derived LYVE-1(+)PODOPLANIN(+)cells showed a pure committed LEC phenotype, formed new lymphatic vessels, and expressed lymphangiogenic factors at high levels. These hPSC-derived LECs enhanced wound healing through lymphangiogenesis and lymphvasculogenesis. Here we report, for the first time, that LECs can be selectively isolated from differentiating hPSCs, and that these cells are potent for lymphatic vessel formation in vivo and wound healing. This system and the purified hPSC-derived LECs can serve as a new platform for studying LEC development as well as for cell therapy.

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Lee et al., Biomaterials, 2015

Various stem cells and their progeny have been used therapeutically for vascular regeneration. One of the major hurdles for cell-based therapy is low cell retention in vivo, and to improve cell survival several biomaterials have been used to encapsulate cells before transplantation. Vascular regeneration involves new blood vessel formation which consists of two processes, vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. While embryonic stem cell (ESC)-derived endothelial cells (ESC-ECs) have clearer vasculogenic potency, adult cells exert their effects mainly through paracrine angiogenic activities. While these two cells have seemingly complementary advantages, there have not been any studies to date combining these two cell types for vascular regeneration.

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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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Boopathy et al., Biomaterials, 2014

The modulation of cardiac progenitor cell function by hydrogel-dependent Notch1 activation.

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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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Ban et al., Circulation, 2013

Although methods for generating cardiomyocytes from pluripotent stem cells have been reported, current methods produce heterogeneous mixtures of cardiomyocytes and noncardiomyocyte cells. Here, we report an entirely novel system in which pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes are purified by cardiomyocyte-specific molecular beacons (MBs). MBs are nanoscale probes that emit a fluorescence signal when hybridized to target mRNAs.

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Wang et al., Nat Cell Biol, 2013

Mammalian somatic cells can be directly reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by introducing defined sets of transcription factors. Somatic cell reprogramming involves epigenomic reconfiguration, conferring iPSCs with characteristics similar to embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Human ESCs (hESCs) contain 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), which is generated through the oxidation of 5-methylcytosine by the TET enzyme family. Here we show that 5hmC levels increase significantly during reprogramming to human iPSCs mainly owing to TET1 activation, and this hydroxymethylation change is critical for optimal epigenetic reprogramming, but does not compromise primed pluripotency.

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Sohn et al., Biomaterials, 2013

Since the successful generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from adult somatic cells using integrating-viral methods, various methods have been tried for iPSC generation using non-viral and non-integrating technique for clinical applications. Recently, various non-viral approaches such as protein, mRNA, microRNA, and small molecule transduction were developed to avoid genomic integration and generate stem cell-like cells from mouse and human fibroblasts. Despite these successes, there has been no successful generation of iPSC from bone marrow (BM)-derived hematopoietic cells derived using

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