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Circulation. 2003 Oct 7;108(14):1729-34. Epub 2003 Sep 8.

First evidence that bone marrow cells contribute to the construction of tissue-engineered vascular autografts in vivo.

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Cardiovascular Surgery, The Heart Institute of Japan, Tokyo Women's Medical University, 8-1 Kawada-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 162-8666 Japan.



Materials commonly used to repair complex cardiac defects lack growth potential and have other unwanted side effects. We designed and tested a bone marrow cell (BMC)-seeded biodegradable scaffold that avoids these problems.


To demonstrate the contribution of the BMCs to histogenesis, we labeled them with green fluorescence, seeded them onto scaffolds, and implanted them in the inferior vena cava of dogs. The implanted grafts were analyzed immunohistochemically at 3 hours and subsequently at 2, 4, and 8 weeks after implantation using antibodies against endothelial cell lineage markers, endothelium, and smooth muscle cells. There was no stenosis or obstruction caused by the tissue-engineered vascular autografts (TEVAs) implanted into the dogs. Immunohistochemically, the seeded BMCs expressing endothelial cell lineage markers, such as CD34, CD31, Flk-1, and Tie-2, adhered to the scaffold. This was followed by proliferation and differentiation, resulting in expression of endothelial cells markers, such as CD146, factor VIII, and CD31, and smooth muscle cell markers, such as alpha-smooth muscle cell actin, SMemb, SM1, and SM2. Vascular endothelial growth factor and angiopoietin-1 were also produced by cells in TEVAs.


These results provide direct evidence that the use of BMCs enables the establishment of TEVAs. These TEVAs are useful for cardiovascular surgery in humans and especially in children, who require biocompatible materials with growth potential, which might reduce the instance of complications caused by incompatible materials and lead to a reduced likelihood of further surgery.

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