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Biomaterials. 2009 Aug;30(22):3702-10. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2009.03.038. Epub 2009 Apr 17.

Targeting mesenchymal stem cells to activated endothelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA.


Cell surface coating is a methodology wherein specific molecules are transiently anchored onto cell membrane to modulate cell behavior. Cell surface coating was tested as a method to deliver mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to endothelial cells via binding to intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). MSCs coated with palmitated protein G (PPG) followed by antibodies to ICAM-1 (Ab(ICAM-1)), and incubated on ICAM-I coated coverslips showed a 40-fold increase in cell binding over PPG-only controls. Ab(ICAM-1)-coated MSCs incubated with human vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs), with and without exposure to TNFalpha (to upregulate ICAM-1 expression), showed 2.6-fold increased binding to control HUVECs over PPG-only controls, and a 16-fold increase in binding to TNFalpha-treated HUVECs. Pretreatment of HUVECs with ICAM-1 antibody promoted the attachment of PPG-only MSCs while reducing the attachment of Ab(ICAM-1)-MSCs by approximately 50%. In flow chamber studies on TNFalpha-stimulated HUVECs, PPG-only, and MSC-only lost 80-90% of their initial binding at 4 dyne/cm(2), while Ab(ICAM-1)-MSCs maintained 100% binding at 4 dyne/cm(2) and 40% binding at 25 dyne/cm(2). These results demonstrate that cell surface coating promotes the attachment of MSCs to endothelial cells, and provides a methodology for the delivery of stem cells to sites of inflammation.

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