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Stem Cell Rev. 2010 Jun;6(2):237-47. doi: 10.1007/s12015-010-9144-3.

Smooth-muscle-like cells derived from human embryonic stem cells support and augment cord-like structures in vitro.

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Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Johns Hopkins Physical Science Oncology Center and Institute for NanoBioTechnology, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.


Engineering vascularized tissue is crucial for its successful implantation, survival, and integration with the host tissue. Vascular smooth muscle cells (v-SMCs) provide physical support to the vasculature and aid in maintaining endothelial viability. In this study, we show an efficient derivation of v-SMCs from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), and demonstrate their functionality and ability to support the vasculature in vitro. Human ESCs were differentiated in monolayers and supplemented with platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB) and transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta1). Human ESC-derived smooth-muscle-like cells (SMLCs) were found to highly express specific smooth muscle cell (SMC) markers--including alpha-smooth muscle actin, calponin, SM22, and smooth muscle myosin heavy chain--to produce and secrete fibronectin and collagen, and to contract in response to carbachol. In vitro tubulogenesis assays revealed that these hESC-derived SMLCs interacted with human endothelial progenitor cell (EPCs) to form longer and thicker cord-like structures in vitro. We have demonstrated a simple protocol for the efficient derivation of highly purified SMLCs from hESCs. These in vitro functional SMLCs interacted with EPCs to support and augment capillary-like structures (CLSs), demonstrating the potential of hESCs as a cell source for therapeutic vascular tissue engineering.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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