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J Vis Exp. 2015 Dec 23;(106):e53384. doi: 10.3791/53384.

Generation and Culture of Blood Outgrowth Endothelial Cells from Human Peripheral Blood.

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Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge;
Papworth Hospital.
Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge.
Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge;


Historically, the limited availability of primary endothelial cells from patients with vascular disorders has hindered the study of the molecular mechanisms underlying endothelial dysfunction in these individuals. However, the recent identification of blood outgrowth endothelial cells (BOECs), generated from circulating endothelial progenitors in adult peripheral blood, may circumvent this limitation by offering an endothelial-like, primary cell surrogate for patient-derived endothelial cells. Beyond their value to understanding endothelial biology and disease modeling, BOECs have potential uses in endothelial cell transplantation therapies. They are also a suitable cellular substrate for the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) via nuclear reprogramming, offering a number of advantages over other cell types. We describe a method for the reliable generation, culture and characterization of BOECs from adult peripheral blood for use in these and other applications. This approach (i) allows for the generation of patient-specific endothelial cells from a relatively small volume of adult peripheral blood and (ii) produces cells that are highly similar to primary endothelial cells in morphology, cell signaling and gene expression.

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