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J Vasc Res. 2006;43(5):411-21. Epub 2006 Jul 28.

Embryonic stem cell-derived endothelial cells may lack complete functional maturation in vitro.

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  • 1The Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA.


Stem cell therapies will only become clinically relevant if the stem cells differentiated in vitro function as their in vivo counterparts. Here, we employed our previously developed techniques for deriving endothelial cells (>96% purity) from mouse embryonic stem cells (ESC) and compared these with mouse aortic endothelial cells (MAEC) obtained from thoracic aortas. Immunocytochemical analysis of ESC-derived endothelial cells (EC) demonstrates that both cell types are positive for the EC markers endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), Flk-1, Flt-1, vascular endothelial cadherin (VEcad), platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1), and CD34. However, ESC-derived EC express slightly lower levels of PECAM-1 and VE-cadherin, and significantly lower levels of acetylated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) uptake and von Willebrand factor. Although ESC-derived EC do express VE-cadherin, the VE-cadherin in the ESC-derived EC did not localize as well at the cell-cell junctions as in the MAEC. Interestingly, ESC-derived EC express much greater levels of the endothelial and hematopoietic stem cell marker CD34 and vasculogenic and angiogenic sprouting than MAEC. These results indicate that ESC-derived EC share some key characteristics of 'mature' EC, while retaining markers of alternate phenotypes including immature endothelium.

Copyright (c) 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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