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Circ Res. 2019 Jun 21;125(1):74-89. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.118.314290. Epub 2019 May 6.

MicroRNA-145 Regulates the Differentiation of Adipose Stem Cells Toward Microvascular Endothelial Cells and Promotes Angiogenesis.

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From the Cardiovascular-Program ICCC, IR-Hospital Santa Creu i Sant Pau, IIBSantPau Barcelona, Spain (G.A., E.P., R.A., O.J.-B., J.C., G.V., B.O., L.B.).
Ciber CV, Instituto Carlos III, Madrid, Spain (E.P., R.A., G.V., L.B.).
Clínica Teknon, Barcelona, Spain (F.M.).



Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) are a potential adult mesenchymal stem cell source for restoring endothelial function in ischemic tissues. However, the mechanism that promotes ASCs differentiation toward endothelial cells (ECs) is not known.


To investigate the mechanisms of ASCs differentiation into ECs.


ASCs were isolated from clinical lipoaspirates and cultured with DMEM or endothelial cell-conditioned medium. Endothelial cell-conditioned medium induced downregulation of miR-145 in ASCs and promoted endothelial differentiation. We identified bFGF (basic fibroblast growth factor) released by ECs as inducer of ASCs differentiation through receptor-induced AKT (protein kinase B) signaling and phosphorylation of FOXO1 (forkhead box protein O1) suppressing its transcriptional activity and decreasing miR-145 expression. Blocking bFGF-receptor or PI3K/AKT signaling in ASCs increased miR-145 levels. Modulation of miR-145 in ASCs, using a miR-145 inhibitor, regulated their differentiation into ECs: increasing proliferation, migration, inducing expression of EC markers (VE-cadherin, VEGFR2 [vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2], or VWF [von Willebrand Factor]), and tube-like formation. Furthermore, in vivo, downregulation of miR-145 in ASCs enhanced angiogenesis in subcutaneously implanted plugs in mice. In a murine hindlimb ischemia model injection of ASCs with downregulated miR-145 induced collateral flow and capillary formation evidenced by magnetic resonance angiography. Next, we identified ETS1 (v-ets avian erythroblastosis virus E26 oncogene homolog 1) as the target of miR-145. Upregulation of miR-145 in ASCs, by mimic miR-145, suppressed ETS1 expression and consequently abolished EC differentiation and the angiogenic properties of endothelial cell-conditioned medium-preconditioned ASCs; whereas, overexpression of ETS1 reversed the abrogated antiangiogenic capacity of miR-145. ETS1 overexpression induced similar results to those obtained with miR-145 knockdown.


bFGF released by ECs induces ASCs differentiation toward ECs through miR-145-regulated expression of ETS1. Downregulation of miR-145 in ASCs induce vascular network formation in ischemic muscle.


angiogenesis; biology; endothelial cells; ischemia; magnetic resonance angiography; phosphorylation; stem cells

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