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Open Access Microvesicles Derived From Endothelial Progenitor Cells Enhance Neoangiogenesis of Human Pancreatic Islets

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The efficacy of islet transplantation is limited by poor graft vascularization. We herein demonstrated that microvesicles (MVs) released from endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) enhanced human islet vascularization. After incorporation into islet endothelium and β-cells, EPC-derived MVs favored insulin secretion, survival, and revascularization of islets transplanted in SCID mice. MVs induced in vitro islet endothelial cell proliferation, migration, resistance to apoptosis, and organization in vessel-like structures. Moreover, MVs partially overcame the antiangiogenic effect of rapamycin and inhibited endothelial‐leukocyte interaction via L-selectin and CD40. MVs were previously shown to contain defined patterns of mRNAs. Here we demonstrated that MVs carried the proangiogenic miR-126 and miR-296 microRNAs (miRNAs). MVs pretreated with RNase or derived from Dicer knocked-down EPCs showed a reduced angiogenic effect. In addition, MVs overcame the antiangiogenic effect of the specific antagomiRs of miR-126 and miR-296, suggesting a relevant contribution of miRNAs delivered by MVs to islet endothelium. Microarray analysis of MV-stimulated islet endothelium indicated the upregulation of mRNAs coding for factors involved in endothelial proliferation, differentiation, and angiogenesis. In addition, MVs induced the activation of the PI3K-Akt and eNOS signaling pathways in islet endothelium. These results suggest that MVs activate an angiogenic program in islet endothelium that may sustain revascularization and β-cell function.

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Keywords: Angiogenesis; Endothelial progenitors; Exosomes; Islet transplantation; MicroRNAs; Microvesicles

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Research Center for Experimental Medicine (CeRMS), University of Torino, Torino, Italy 2: Department of Biomedical Sciences/INBB, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy 3: Liver Transplantation Center, University of Torino, Torino, Italy 4: SisTER, Palazzo Pignano, Italy and Fresenius Medical Care, Bad Homburg, Germany 5: Nephrology, Dialysis and Kidney Transplantation Center, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Torino, Torino, Italy

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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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.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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