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The Local Injection of Peritoneal Macrophages Induces Neovascularization in Rat Ischemic Hind Limb Muscles

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Macrophages play a pivotal role in the development of newly formed vascular networks, in addition to their normal immunological functions. This research focuses on peritoneal macrophages as a novel source in cell implantation therapy for ischemic diseases. In this study, production of angiogenic growth factors by peritoneal macrophages and its in vivo effect of neovascularization were evaluated. Mononuclear cells from the peritoneal cavity (P-MNCs) enriched with macrophages were isolated and stimulated with hypoxia and interleukin-1 (IL-1) to mimic an ischemic tissue environment in vitro. Expression of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) of mRNA in P-MNCs was apparently enhanced by hypoxic stimulation, and the production of VEGF protein was also augmented by hypoxia and IL-1. A rat ischemic hind limb model was created and P-MNCs (8 × 106/limb) were injected into the ischemic muscles. The blood flow, which was assessed using the colored microsphere method, showed that the percentage blood flow was significantly increased by P-MNCs injection 4 weeks after surgery (48.3 ± 16.8% in noninjected ischemic limb vs. 84.3 ± 13.0% in the P-MNCs-injected limb). A histological analysis revealed that the number of capillaries detected by alkaline phosphatase staining was increased in the P-MNCs group 4 weeks after injection. Furthermore, the number of α-smooth muscle actin-positive vessels also showed a significant increase following P-MNC injection. The injected P-MNCs labeled with fluorescence were detected in the interstitial space of ischemic muscles, and VEGF protein expression of the implanted cells was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. These results indicate that peritoneal macrophages stimulate capillary formation and arteriogenesis in the ischemic limbs, possibly through the production of angiogenic growth factors. These findings suggest that the physiological angiogenic property of peritoneal macrophages could therefore be utilized for neovascularization in cell implantation therapy.

Keywords: Cell implantation; Hind limb ischemia; Neovascularization; Peritoneal macrophage

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Surgery II, Faculty of Medicine, Kochi University, Kochi 783-8505, Japan 2: Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Kochi University, Kochi 783-8505, Japan

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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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.

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