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[2013/03/15] A Breakthrough in Cultivation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Clinical Uses
A Breakthrough in Cultivation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Clinical Uses


A Breakthrough in Cultivation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Clinical Uses

Dr. Shih-Chieh Hung receives the 2012 Outstanding Research Award of National Science Council.

Dr. Hung's team has been focused on the application of hypoxic culture on solving the problems encountered upon expansion of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), including: cell senescence, loss of pluripotent gene expression, decrease in self-renewal and differentiation potential, low engraftment after in vivo transplantation, and the rejection by allogeneic recipients.

Their data show that hypoxia can inhibit senescence, increase the proliferation rate and enhance differentiation potential along the different mesenchymal lineages. Hypoxia also modulates the paracrine effects of MSCs, causing upregulation of various secretable factors, including the vascular endothelial growth factor and IL-6, and thereby enhances wound healing and fracture repair. Finally, hypoxia plays an important role in mobilization and homing of MSCs, primarily by its ability to induce stromal cell-derived factor-1 expression along with its receptor, CXCR4.

Recently, they also found hypoxia maintain the expression of pluripotency genes, such as Oct4, Nanog in expend MSCs. The hypoxic cultivation will help developing new techniques in expansion or production of high quality MSCs for further clinical uses for a lot of diseases in Taiwan and the world. These data have been published in Molecular Cell, Blood, Stem cells, Aging Cell, Cell Transplantation, and PLoS One.

Dr. Hung's team has also investigated the interaction of MSCs and tumor cells. They demonstrated that MSCs in circulation home and engraft to tumor. Moreover, IL-6 secreted by MSCs help the development of cancer stem cells, angiogenesis and tumor growth in a lot of cancers, including colon cancer, hepatoma and lung cancer. These data have been published in Gastroenterology, Clinical Cancer Research and Oncogene. Currently, Dr. Hung's team is using tumor-homing property of MSCs in treating cancer via carrying oncolytic virus. The approach will develop new strategies in preventing or treating cancer.

Dr. Shih-Chieh Hung

Dr. Shih-Chieh Hung