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Open Access Function and Mode of Regulation of Endothelial Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II

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Tissue engineering is a promising approach to implement endothelial cells as a cellular delivery therapy for vascular disease. We and others previously demonstrated that endothelial cells embedded in three-dimensional collagen-based matrices retain their full biosecretory spectrum, enabling them to serve as powerful regulators of vascular diseases. Fascinatingly, matrix embedding of endothelial cells not only allows for their implantation but also seems to provide protection from allo- and xenogeneic-triggered host immune responses. This is not an effect of simple physical shielding but a more fundamental influence of cell‐matrix interconnectivity on the cellular immune phenotype. Reduced cytokine-induced levels of costimulatory and adhesion molecules associated with significantly lower expression levels of major histocompatibility class II expression on matrix-embedded human aortic endothelial cells when compared to the same cells cultured on two-dimensional polystyrene coated-tissue culture plates. Strikingly, the entire interferon--dependent signaling cascade resulting in MHC class II molecule expression is markedly suppressed in endothelial cells grown to confluence within three-dimensional scaffolds. These findings might be of pivotal importance for designing endothelial cell-based therapies in general and might enhance our understanding of the underlying pathophysiology in a broad range of cardiovascular diseases (e.g., atherosclerosis, vasculitis, chronic allograft vasculopathy).

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Keywords: Endothelial cell; MHC class II molecule; Matrix

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA; Institute of Cell Biology, ETH Hoenggerberg, Zurich, Switzerland

Publication date: 01 March 2009

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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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