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J Vasc Res. 1994 Jul-Aug;31(4):230-9.

Growth characteristics of cultured human macrovascular venous and arterial and microvascular endothelial cells.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital, Leiden, The Netherlands.


The morphological and growth characteristics of human macrovascular endothelial cells (ECs) from venous and arterial umbilical cord vessels and microvascular ECs from foreskin were compared during cultivation. By means of time-lapse microcinematography and phase-contrast microscopy, differences in cell morphology and migratory activity between the different types of ECs were found. Growth characteristics were dependent on the type of EC, the nature of the substrates on which the ECs were grown and the presence of growth factors. For all types of ECs optimal growth and formation of a monolayer were observed when the ECs were cultured on fibronectin or gelatin substrates in the presence of EC growth factor and heparin. Under these conditions confluent cultures of macrovascular ECs reached maximal cell densities of 1,400-1,900 ECs/mm2, whereas microvascular ECs reached maximal cell densities of about 700-900 ECs/mm2. The cell cycle times calculated from the population-doubling time and the stathmokinetic index, respectively, amounted to 63 and 83 h for microvascular ECs, 33 and 35 h for venous macrovascular ECs, and 29 and 35 h for arterial macrovascular ECs.

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