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Stroke. 2009 May;40(5):1886-91. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.108.539932. Epub 2009 Mar 12.

Carotid repair using autologous adipose-derived endothelial cells.

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  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



Adipose tissue is an abundant source of endothelial cells as well as stem and progenitor cells which can develop an endothelial phenotype. It has been demonstrated that these cells have distinct angiogenic properties in vitro and in vivo. However, whether these cells have the capacity to directly improve large vessel form and function after vascular injury remains unknown. To define whether delivery of adipose-derived endothelial cells (ADECs) would improve healing of injured carotid arteries, a rabbit model of acute arterial injury was used.


Autologous rabbit ADECs were generated using defined culture conditions. To test the ability of ADECs to enhance carotid artery repair, cells were delivered intraarterially after acute balloon injury. Additional delivery studies were performed after functional selection of cells before delivery.


After rabbit omental fat harvest and digestion, a proliferative, homogenous, and distinctly endothelial population of ADECs was identified. Direct delivery of autologous ADECs resulted in marked reendothelialization 48 hours after acute vascular injury as compared to saline controls (82.2+/-26.9% versus 4.2+/-3.0% P<0.001). Delivery of ADECs that were selected for their ability to take up acetylated LDL significantly improved vasoreactivity and decreased intimal formation after vascular injury.


Taken together, these data suggest that ADECs represent an autologous source of proliferative endothelial cells, which demonstrate the capacity to rapidly improve reendothelialization, improve vascular reactivity, and decrease intimal formation in a carotid artery injury model.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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