Self-organized vascular networks from human pluripotent stem cells in a synthetic matrix.
ABSTRACT The success of tissue regenerative therapies is contingent on functional and multicellular vasculature within the redeveloping tissue. Although endothelial cells (ECs), which compose the vasculature's inner lining, are intrinsically able to form nascent networks, these structures regress without the recruitment of pericytes, supporting cells that surround microvessel endothelium. Reconstruction of typical in vivo microvascular architecture traditionally has been done using distinct cell sources of ECs and pericytes within naturally occurring matrices; however, the limited sources of clinically relevant human cells and the inherent chemical and physical properties of natural materials hamper the translational potential of these approaches. Here we derived a bicellular vascular population from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) that undergoes morphogenesis and assembly in a synthetic matrix. We found that hPSCs can be induced to codifferentiate into early vascular cells (EVCs) in a clinically relevant strategy amenable to multiple hPSC lines. These EVCs can mature into ECs and pericytes, and can self-organize to form microvascular networks in an engineered matrix. These engineered human vascular networks survive implantation, integrate with the host vasculature, and establish blood flow. This integrated approach, in which a derived bicellular population is exploited for its intrinsic self-assembly capability to create microvasculature in a deliverable matrix, has vast ramifications for vascular construction and regenerative medicine.
SourceAvailable from: MD Anwarul Hasan
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ABSTRACT: Human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived endothelial cells and their progenitors may provide the means for vascularization of tissue-engineered constructs and can serve as models to study vascular development and disease. Here, we report a method to efficiently produce endothelial cells from hPSCs via GSK3 inhibition and culture in defined media to direct hPSC differentiation to CD34(+)CD31(+) endothelial progenitors. Exogenous vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) treatment was dispensable, and endothelial progenitor differentiation was ?-catenin dependent. Furthermore, by clonal analysis, we showed that CD34(+)CD31(+)CD117(+)TIE-2(+) endothelial progenitors were multipotent, capable of differentiating into calponin-expressing smooth muscle cells and CD31(+)CD144(+)vWF(+)I-CAM1(+) endothelial cells. These endothelial cells were capable of 20 population doublings, formed tube-like structures, imported acetylated low-density lipoprotein, and maintained a dynamic barrier function. This study provides a rapid and efficient method for production of hPSC-derived endothelial progenitors and endothelial cells and identifies WNT/?-catenin signaling as a primary regulator for generating vascular cells from hPSCs.11/2014; 3(5):804-16. DOI:10.1016/j.stemcr.2014.09.005