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Cells ; 10(11)2021 11 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512137


Personalized regenerative medicine and biomedical research have been galvanized and revolutionized by human pluripotent stem cells in combination with recent advances in genomics, artificial intelligence, and genome engineering. More recently, we have witnessed the unprecedented breakthrough life-saving translation of mRNA-based vaccines for COVID-19 to contain the global pandemic and the investment in billions of US dollars in space exploration projects and the blooming space-tourism industry fueled by the latest reusable space vessels. Now, it is time to examine where the translation of pluripotent stem cell research stands currently, which has been touted for more than the last two decades to cure and treat millions of patients with severe debilitating degenerative diseases and tissue injuries. This review attempts to highlight the accomplishments of pluripotent stem cell research together with cutting-edge genomics and genome editing tools and, also, the promises that have still not been transformed into clinical applications, with cardiovascular research as a case example. This review also brings to our attention the scientific and socioeconomic challenges that need to be effectively addressed to see the full potential of pluripotent stem cells at the clinical bedside.

Cardiovascular Diseases/therapy , Genomics , Pluripotent Stem Cells/transplantation , Artificial Intelligence , Cardiovascular Diseases/genetics , Cardiovascular Diseases/pathology , Cardiovascular System/cytology , Cardiovascular System/growth & development , Cell Differentiation , Drug Discovery , Gene Editing , Humans , Models, Biological , Pluripotent Stem Cells/cytology , Precision Medicine , Regenerative Medicine , Safety
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(4)2021 Feb 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186964


Recent technological advances have revolutionized the study of tissue biology and garnered a greater appreciation for tissue complexity. In order to understand cardiac development, heart tissue homeostasis, and the effects of stress and injury on the cardiovascular system, it is essential to characterize the heart at high cellular resolution. Single-cell profiling provides a more precise definition of tissue composition, cell differentiation trajectories, and intercellular communication, compared to classical bulk approaches. Here, we aim to review how recent single-cell multi-omic studies have changed our understanding of cell dynamics during cardiac development, and in the healthy and diseased adult myocardium.

Cardiovascular System/cytology , Single-Cell Analysis , Transcriptome/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Cellular Reprogramming/genetics , Embryonic Development/genetics , Humans
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(5)2021 Feb 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1115421


In this Review, we briefly describe the basic virology and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2, highlighting how stem cell technology and organoids can contribute to the understanding of SARS-CoV-2 cell tropisms and the mechanism of disease in the human host, supporting and clarifying findings from clinical studies in infected individuals. We summarize here the results of studies, which used these technologies to investigate SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis in different organs. Studies with in vitro models of lung epithelia showed that alveolar epithelial type II cells, but not differentiated lung alveolar epithelial type I cells, are key targets of SARS-CoV-2, which triggers cell apoptosis and inflammation, while impairing surfactant production. Experiments with human small intestinal organoids and colonic organoids showed that the gastrointestinal tract is another relevant target for SARS-CoV-2. The virus can infect and replicate in enterocytes and cholangiocytes, inducing cell damage and inflammation. Direct viral damage was also demonstrated in in vitro models of human cardiomyocytes and choroid plexus epithelial cells. At variance, endothelial cells and neurons are poorly susceptible to viral infection, thus supporting the hypothesis that neurological symptoms and vascular damage result from the indirect effects of systemic inflammatory and immunological hyper-responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

COVID-19/pathology , Organoids/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Stem Cells/virology , Animals , Apoptosis , COVID-19/virology , Cardiovascular System/cytology , Cardiovascular System/pathology , Cardiovascular System/virology , Central Nervous System/cytology , Central Nervous System/pathology , Central Nervous System/virology , Gastrointestinal Tract/cytology , Gastrointestinal Tract/pathology , Gastrointestinal Tract/virology , Humans , Inflammation/pathology , Inflammation/virology , Lung/cytology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Organoids/pathology , Stem Cells/pathology , Viral Tropism , Virus Internalization