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Zhongguo Yi Xue Ke Xue Yuan Xue Bao. 2012 Dec;34(6):539-44. doi: 10.3881/j.issn.1000-503X.2012.06.001.

[Differentiation of human embryonic stem cells to endothelial cells via improved three-dimension approach].

[Article in Chinese]

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1
Department of Pathology, Nankai University School of Medicine, Tianjin, China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To establish an improved three-dimension (3D) and serum-free approach to differentiate human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into endothelial cells, and detect the endothelial functions of the obtained cells.

METHODS:

We cultured undifferentiated H9 human embryonic stem cell line in low-adhesion dishes to form embryonic bodies (EBs). After 12 days, EBs were harvested, re-suspended into rat tail collagen type I, and put into the incubator (37℃). After 30 minutes, EGM-2 culture medium was added to the solidified collagen, and the EBs were cultured for another 3 days to form embryonic body-sproutings (EB-sproutings). EB-sproutings were digested with 0.25% collagenase I and 0.56 U/ml Liberase Blendzyme for 20 minutes respectively, and the CD31(+) cells were sorted by FACS. The endothelial functions were tested by Dil-ac-LDL uptake assay and tube formation assay.

RESULTS:

This approach raised the efficiency of endothelial differentiation to 18%, and also avoided the contamination with animal materials. The obtained hESC-derived endothelial cells (hESC-ECs) had the similar pattern of surface biomarkers as human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), and their endothelial functions were confirmed by the uptake of Dil-ac-LDL and the tube formation on Matrigel.

CONCLUSIONS:

The improved 3D approach can enhance the efficiency of differentiation from hESCs into endothelial cells. Furthermore, serum free differentiation system may be applied in future hESC-based therapies for various ischemic diseases.

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