Top 5 Cytocentric Publications of 2015

Overall, 2015 was a big year for moving cytocentric research forward. Some publications have stood out from the rest as impactful. The authors of these papers not only used cytocentric principles in carrying out their experiments, but their findings and language help describe a new scientific era of more physiologically relevant in vitro cell systems. Check out our list below to discover the top 5 publications for cell-focused research in 2015.



Oxygen regulates proliferation of neural stem cells through Wnt/beta-catenin signalling. Braunschweig et al. Molecular and cellular neurosciences. 2015;67:84-92.

This group found connections between physioxia and a non-HIF signaling pathway, the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway. Oxygen is a multi-functional signaling molecule in vivo and we predict that more pathways will emerge in the coming years outside of the HIF factors as more attention is focused on cells in a more physiologic context.


Phenotypic switch of CD8(+) T cells reactivated under hypoxia toward IL-10 secreting, poorly proliferative effector cells. Vuillefroy de Silly et al. European journal of immunology. 2015;45(8):2263-75.

“A central issue in judging the impact of hypoxia is choosing the appropriate physiologic oxygen reference point.”

We here at the Cytocentric Blog could not agree more. These authors studied CTL generated and reactivated at 5%oxygen (physioxic for lymph node), 1% oxygen (hypoxic) and at 21% oxygen (room air). While absolute T cell numbers were increased by more room air oxygen, CTL were adversely affected phenotypically and functionally. With the clinical significance of CAR T cells skyrocketing, we predict that in the next year or two, we will see a surge of interest in the effect of non-physiologic conditions for T cell culture.


mtDNA Mutagenesis Disrupts Pluripotent Stem Cell Function by Altering Redox Signaling. Hamalainen et al. Cell Rep. 2015;11(10):1614-24.

This group studied the effect of mitochondrial mutagenesis on murine pluripotent stem cells and found that reactive oxygen species (ROS) from mutated mitochondria affected the PSC functionally. Also, they showed the PSC actively select against mitochondrial DNA mutations. They suggest that stem cell populations should be considered when evaluating new antioxidants.  This work is part of an increasing body of evidence linking stem cell function and redox status of the physiologic setting of the cell.


Mesenchymal stem cells use extracellular vesicles to outsource mitophagy and shuttle microRNAs. Phinney et al. Nat Commun. 2015;6:8472.

We discussed this paper in an earlier blog post here about MSC and oxygen control. And we will be featuring the first author as a Cytocentric Visionary soon. This paper demonstrated, with fascinating microscopic videos, how MSC respond to oxygen-induced stress and tamp down the inflammatory responses of any macrophage that might be near. Partially depolarized mitochondria and exosomes are actively exported from the MSC and taken up by macrophage, to the benefit of both parties. This might help explain the immunomodulatory effects seen in MSC cellular therapies and how it is linked to the redox status of the cells.


Enhancing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Efficacy by Mitigating Oxygen Shock. C. Mantel et al. Cell. Jun 18 2015

This paper was featured in an earlier blogposts here and here. The Broxymeyer group’s findings were striking. Protecting HSC from room air during cell handling dramatically improved cell yields. We predict that their findings will change cord blood and bone marrow processing, reduce the number of stem cell samples deemed too sparse for usage, and improve the chances for patients worldwide to get needed stem cell transplants.

Have your own favorite cytocentric publications from 2015 or any other year? Let us know This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We would like to feature more in a future posts.


alicia author iconAbout the Author

Alicia D Henn, PhD, MBA

Alicia Henn has been the Chief Scientific Officer of BioSpherix, Ltd for two years. Previously, she was a researcher at the Center for Biodefense Immune Modeling in Rochester, NY. Alicia obtained her PhD in molecular pharmacology and cancer therapeutics from Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY and her MBA from the Simon School at University of Rochester in Rochester, NY.