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Open Access A Novel and Simplified Method of Culture of Human Blood-Derived Early Endothelial Progenitor Cells for the Treatment of Ischemic Vascular Disease

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Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) consist of two different subpopulations named early (eEPCs) and late EPCs (lEPCs) that are derived from CD14+ and CD14 circulating cells, respectively. These cells are regularly cultured over fibronectin-coated surfaces in endothelial basal medium (EBM)-2 supplemented with insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), and fibroblast growth factor (FGF). We have developed a new and simplified method for culturing human EPCs obtained from peripheral blood and tested their ability to preserve cardiac function following infarction. We first demonstrated that eEPCs derived from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and cultured in EBM-2 medium supplemented with autologous serum (10%) over fibronectin-coated surfaces (10 μg/ml) in the presence of IGF-1 (50 ng/ml) only, have a secretome similar to eEPCs cultured under regular conditions with IGF-1, VEGF, EGF, and FGF. Our data also indicate that IGF-1 modulates PBMC secretome in a dose-dependent manner. In another series of experiments, we showed that PBMCs cultured in suspension in bags (S-PBMCs) in basal medium supplemented with fibronectin and IGF-1 secrete significant amounts of stem cell factor (SCF, 31.3 ± 3.1 pg/ml)), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF, 438.6 ± 41.4 pg/ml), soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (sTNFR1, 127.1 ± 9.9 pg/ml), VEGF (139.3 ± 9.6 pg/ml), and IGF-1 (147.2 ± 46.1 pg/ml) but very low levels of TNF-α (13.4 ± 2.5 pg/ml). S-PBMCs injected intravenously into NOD SCID mice migrated to the injured myocardium, reduced cardiac fibrosis, enhanced angiogenesis, and preserved cardiac function after myocardial infarction (MI) in a manner similar to eEPCs cultured under standard conditions. In conclusion, we show in this study a refined and optimized method for culturing eEPCs. Our data indicate that S-PBMCs are composed of several cell populations including eEPCs and that they secrete high amounts of antiapoptotic, anti-inflammatory, and proangiogenic factors capable of preserving cardiac function following MI.

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Keywords: Angiogenesis; Culture method; Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs); Growth factors; Myocardial infarction (MI)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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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