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Artif Cells Nanomed Biotechnol. 2014 Dec;42(6):400-5. doi: 10.3109/21691401.2013.837473. Epub 2013 Sep 23.

VEGF promotes cardiac stem cells differentiation into vascular endothelial cells via the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Hebei Medical University , Shijiazhuang , P. R. China.


Recent research suggested that cardiac stem cells (CSCs) may have the clinical application for cardiac repair. However, their characteristics and the regulatory mechanisms of their growth and differentiation have not been fully investigated. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF, VEGF-A) is a major regulator of physiological and pathological angiogenesis. But the homing role of VEGF for CSCs is unclear. In this report, CSCs were isolated, purified, and expanded in vitro from rat heart. VEGF, SU5416 (VEGF receptor blocker), and Wortmannin (PI3K/Akt signaling pathway inhibitor) were used for differentiation into vascular endothelial cells (VECs). Real-time qPCR was selected to confirm the role of PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in VECs differentiation from rat CSCs. The result of real-time qPCR demonstrated that PI3K/Akt signaling pathway plays an important role in rat CSCs differentiated into VECs. So, our research provides a theoretical basis and experimental evidence for therapeutic application of rat CSCs to treat cardiac repair.


PI3K/Akt signaling pathway; cardiac stem cells; rat; vascular endothelial cells

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