Endothelial cells (ECs) are involved in the process of angiogenesis, the outgrowth of new vessels from preexisting blood vessels. If available in sufficiently large numbers, ECs could be used therapeutically to establish blood flow through in vitro engineered tissues and tissues suffering
from severe ischemia. Adipose tissue (AT) is an easily available source of large number of autologous ECs. Here we describe the isolation, in vitro expansion, and characterization of human AT derived ECs (AT-ECs). AT-ECs proliferated rapidly through 15‐20 population doublings. The cultured
cells showed cobblestone morphology and expressed EC markers including CD31, CD144, eNOS, CD309, CD105, von Willebrand factor, CD146, CD54, and CD102. They bound Ulex europaeus agglutinin I lectin and took up DiI-Ac-LDL. The AT-ECs formed capillary-like tubes in Matrigel in vitro and
formed functional blood vessels in Matrigel following subcutaneous injection into immunodeficient mice. In conclusion, AT-ECs reach clinically significant cell numbers after few population doublings and are easily accessible from autologous AT, which also contains mesenchymal stem cells/pericytes.
Thus, AT yields two cell populations that may be used together in the treatment of tissue ischemia and in clinical applications of tissue engineering.
Norwegian Center for Stem Cell Research, Institute of Immunology, Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet and Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Publication date: January 1, 2012
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