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Open Access Simple and Highly Efficient Method for Production of Endothelial Cells From Human Embryonic Stem Cells

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Endothelial cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESC-ECs) hold much promise as a valuable tool for basic vascular research and for medical application such as cell transplantation or regenerative medicine. Here we have developed an efficient approach for the production of hESC-ECs. Using a differentiation method consisting of a stepwise combination of treatment with glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) inhibitor and culturing in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-supplemented medium, hESC-ECs are induced in 5 days with about 20% efficiency. These cells express vascular endothelial cadherin (VE-cadherin), VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR-2), CD34, and platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1). These hESC-ECs can then be isolated with 95% purity using a magnetic sorting system, and expanded to more than 100-fold within a month. The hESC-ECs thus produced exhibit the endothelial morphological characteristics and specific functions such as capillary tube formation and acetylated low-density lipoprotein uptake. We propose that our methodology is useful for efficient and large-scale production of hESC-ECs.

Keywords: Differentiation; Endothelial cells; Glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) inhibitor; Human embryonic stem cells; Vascular endothelial cadherin (VE-cadherin)

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Stem Cell and Drug Discovery Institute, Kyoto Research Park, Kyoto, Japan

Publication date: 2011-09-01

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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.
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