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J Immunol. 2007 Dec 1;179(11):7488-96.

Alloimmunity to human endothelial cells derived from cord blood progenitors.

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Department of Immunobiology, Interdepartmental Program in Vascular Biology and Therapeutics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


There is considerable interest in exploiting circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) for therapeutic organ repair. Such cells may be differentiated into endothelial cells (ECs) in vitro and then expanded for use in tissue engineering. Vessel-derived ECs are variably immunogenic, depending upon tissue source, and it is unknown whether ECs derived from cord blood EPCs are able to initiate an allogeneic response. In this study, we compare the phenotype and alloantigenicity of human cord blood progenitor cell-derived ECs with HUVECs isolated from the same donors. Human cord blood progenitor cell-derived ECs are very similar to HUVECs in the expression of proteins relevant for alloimmunity, including MHC molecules, costimulators, adhesion molecules, cytokines, chemokines, and IDO, and in their ability to initiate allogeneic CD4(+) and CD8(+) memory T cell responses in vitro and in vivo. These findings have significant implications for the use of cord blood EPCs in regenerative medicine or tissue engineering.

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