The Keio Journal of Medicine

Development of Cell-processing Systems for Human Stem Cells (Neural Stem Cells, Mesenchymal Stem Cells, and iPS Cells) for Regenerative Medicine
Yonehiro Kanemura

Regenerative medicine using human stem cells is one of the newest and most promising fields for treating various intractable diseases and damaged organs. For clinical applications, choosing which human stem cells to use, i.e. according to tissue of origin and progenitor type, is a critical issue. Neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) hold promise for treating various neurological diseases. We have shown that the transporter protein ABCB1 is predominantly expressed in immature human fetal NSPCs, and thus could be used as a phenotypic marker to investigate and monitor NSPCs in culture. We describe our proposed model for the in vitro proliferative process of aggregated human NSPCs and show that neurosphere enlargement and NSPC proliferation are mutually reinforcing. We have established that human neurospheres contain a heterogeneous cell population, knowledge that will contribute to the development of human neurospheres with desirable characteristics for clinical applications. Furthermore, decidua-derived mesenchymal cells (DMCs), which we isolated from human placenta, have unique properties as mesenchymal stem cells. They also generate a pericellular matrix (PCM-DM) that supports the growth and pluripotency of human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPS) cells. The newly developed re-programming techniques for generating hiPS cells should greatly contribute to cell therapies using human pluripotent stem cells, including those derived from DMCs. Our DMC-derived hiPS cells are a promising candidate source of allogeneic hiPS cells for clinical applications. We hope our findings will contribute to the development of cell-culture systems for generating human allogeneic stem cells for clinical use in regenerative medicine.