Characterization of umbilical cord blood-derived late outgrowth endothelial progenitor cells exposed to laminar shear stress.
Endothelial progenitor cells isolated from umbilical cord blood (CB-EPCs) represent a promising source of endothelial cells for synthetic vascular grafts and tissue-engineered blood vessels since they are readily attainable, can be easily isolated, and possess a high proliferation potential. The objective of this study was to compare the functional behavior of late outgrowth CB-EPCs with human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs). CB-EPCs and HAECs were cultured on either smooth muscle cells in a coculture model of a tissue-engineered blood vessels or fibronectin adsorbed to Teflon-AF-coated glass slides. Late outgrowth CB-EPCs expressed endothelial cell-specific markers and were negative for the monocytic marker CD14. CB-EPCs have higher proliferation rates than HAECs, but are slightly smaller in size. CB-EPCs remained adherent under supraphysiological shear stresses, oriented and elongated in the direction of flow, and expressed similar numbers of alpha(5)beta(1) and alpha(v)beta(3) integrins and antithrombotic genes compared to HAECs. There were some differences in mRNA levels of E-selectin and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 between CB-EPCs and HAECs; however, protein levels were similar on the two cell types, and CB-EPCs did not support adhesion of monocytes in the absence of tumor necrosis factor-alpha stimulation. Although CB-EPCs expressed significantly less endothelial nitric oxide synthase protein after exposure to flow than HAECs, nitric oxide levels induced by flow were not significantly different. These results suggest that late outgrowth CB-EPCs are functionally similar to HAECs under flow conditions and are a promising cell source for cardiovascular therapies.
Brown, MA; Wallace, CS; Angelos, M; Truskey, GA
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