Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Aug 1;97(16):9191-6.

In vivo formation of complex microvessels lined by human endothelial cells in an immunodeficient mouse.

Author information

  • 1Interdepartmental Program in Vascular Biology and Transplantation, Department of Dermatology, Section of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06536, USA.


We have identified conditions for forming cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) into tubes within a three-dimensional gel that on implantation into immunoincompetent mice undergo remodeling into complex microvessels lined by human endothelium. HUVEC suspended in mixed collagen/fibronectin gels organize into cords with early lumena by 24 h and then apoptose. Twenty-hour constructs, s.c. implanted in immunodeficient mice, display HUVEC-lined thin-walled microvessels within the gel 31 days after implantation. Retroviral-mediated overexpression of a caspase-resistant Bcl-2 protein delays HUVEC apoptosis in vitro for over 7 days. Bcl-2-transduced HUVEC produce an increased density of HUVEC-lined perfused microvessels in vivo compared with untransduced or control-transduced HUVEC. Remarkably, Bcl-2- but not control-transduced HUVEC recruit an ingrowth of perivascular smooth-muscle alpha-actin-expressing mouse cells at 31 days, which organize by 60 days into HUVEC-lined multilayered structures resembling true microvessels. This system provides an in vivo model for dissecting mechanisms of microvascular remodeling by using genetically modified endothelium. Incorporation of such human endothelial-lined microvessels into engineered synthetic skin may improve graft viability, especially in recipients with impaired angiogenesis.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk