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Transplanted Endothelial Progenitor Cells Augment the Survival Areas of Rat Dorsal Flaps

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Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have been identified in peripheral blood, and have been reported to be incorporated into ischemic regions such as the ischemic hindlimb. In this study, we examined whether or not transplantation of EPCs is useful for salvaging surgical flaps in vivo. At the same time, we quantitatively compared the neovascularization ability of transplanted EPCs and that of mature endothelial cells (ECs). ECs obtained from the aorta of rats by explantation and passaged several times were used in the present study. EPCs were obtained from the blood of rat hearts. The blood samples were separated by density gradient centrifugation. Light-density mononuclear cells (MNCs) were collected and cultured on plastic plates coated with rat plasma vitronectin. Cells attached at day 7 of culture were deemed to be EPCs. Then PBS (control), ECs, or EPCs (3.0 × 105 suspended in 1.0 ml PBS) were injected at the middle of a flap. Seven days after surgery, the survival lengths of the flaps were evaluated. EPC-transplanted groups revealed statistically significant augmentation of survival length compared with the other two groups (p < 0.003). EPC-transplanted groups had significantly more angiographically detectable blood vessels (p < 0.003) and significantly higher capillary density (p < 0.03) than the other two groups. Confocal microscopy revealed that EPCs were incorporated into enhanced neovascularization. These results suggest that transplantation of EPCs may be useful for salvaging surgical flaps, and EPCs are superior to ECs in neovascularization ability.
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Keywords: Endothelial cell; Endothelial progenitor cell (EPC); Flap; Neovascularization; Rat

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: *Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, School of Medicine, Keio University, 35, Shinanomachi Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan 2: †Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, National Tokyo Medical Center, 2-5-1, Higashigaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8902, Japan

Publication date: 2002-12-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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