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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2009 Sep 1;90(3):730-41. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.32142.

Composite implantation of mesenchymal stem cells with endothelial progenitor cells enhances tissue-engineered bone formation.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, 65 Tsuruma-cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya 744-2424, Japan.


For successful tissue engineering, neovascularization of the implanted tissue is critical. Factors generated by endothelial cells are also considered crucial for the process of osteogenesis. The direct effects of supplementing tissue engineered constructs with cultured endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) for enhancing bone regeneration have not been reported. In this study, we investigated the potential of EPCs to facilitate neovascularization in implants and evaluated their influence on bone regeneration. The influence of EPC soluble factors on osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) was tested by adding EPC culture supernatant to MSC culture medium. To evaluate the influence of EPCs on MSC osteogenesis, canine MSCs-derived osteogenic cells and EPCs were seeded independently onto collagen fiber mesh scaffolds and co-transplanted to nude mice subcutaneously. Results from coimplant experiments were compared to implanted cells absent of EPCs 12 weeks after implantation. Factors from the culture supernatant of EPCs did not influence MSC differentiation. Coimplanted EPCs increased neovascularization and the capillary score was 1.6-fold higher as compared to the MSC only group (p < 0.05). Bone area was also greater in the MSC + EPC group (p < 0.05) and the bone thickness was 1.3-fold greater in the MSC + EPC group than the MSC only group (p < 0.05). These results suggest that soluble factors generated by EPCs may not facilitate the osteogenic differentiation of MSCs; however, newly formed vasculature may enhance regeneration of tissue-engineered bone.

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