The Vascular Wall as a Source of Stem Cells

Inserm U506, Hopital Paul Brousse, Villejuif, France.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 4.31). 07/2005; 1044(1):41-50. DOI: 10.1196/annals.1349.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We have characterized the emerging hematopoietic system in the human embryo and fetus. Two embryonic organs, the yolk sac and aorta, support the primary emergence of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), but only the latter contributes lymphomyeloid stem cells for definitive, adult-type hematopoiesis. A common feature of intra- and extraembryonic hematopoiesis is that in both locations hematopoietic cells emerge in close vicinity to vascular endothelial cells. We have provided evidence that a population of angiohematopoietic mesodermal stem cells, marked by the expression of flk-1 and the novel BB9/ACE antigen, migrate from the paraaortic splanchnopleura into the ventral part of the aorta, where they give rise to hemogenic endothelial cells and, in turn, hematopoietic cells. HSCs also appear to develop from endothelium in the embryonic liver and fetal bone marrow, albeit at a much lower frequency. This would imply that the organism does not function during its whole life on a stock of hematopoietic stem cells established in the early embryo, as is usually accepted. We next examined whether the vessel wall can contribute stem cells for other cell lineages, primarily in the model of adult skeletal muscle regeneration. By immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry, we documented the existence in skeletal muscle, besides genuine endothelial and myogenic cells, of a subset of satellite cells that coexpress endothelial cell markers. This suggested the existence of a continuum of differentiation from vascular cells to endothelial cells that was confirmed in long-term culture. The regenerating capacity of these cells expressing both myogenic and endothelial markers is being investigated in skeletal and cardiac muscle, and the results are being compared with those generated by satellite cells. Altogether, these results point to a generalized progenitor potential of a subset of endothelial, or endothelium-like, cells in blood vessel walls, in pre- and postnatal life.

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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) does not heal spontaneously after injury, and patients of different ages respond differently to treatment. CD34+ stem/progenitor cells derived from the ACL remnant and associated tissues contribute to tendon-bone healing, but the relationship between age and the ACL's healing potential has not been clarified. HYPOTHESIS:The ACL remnant and associated tissues from adolescent patients have more CD34+ cells, and this population of cells from younger patients exhibits a higher potential for proliferation and differentiation in vitro. STUDY DESIGN:Descriptive laboratory study. METHODS:Ruptured ACL remnants and associated tissues were harvested from 28 patients (mean age, 24.6 ± 1.6 years) who had undergone primary arthroscopic ACL reconstruction. Patients were divided into 3 patient groups by age: 10-19 years (teens group; n = 10), 20-29 years (20s group; n = 10), and ≥30 years (30s group; n = 8). The ACL remnant cells were characterized using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). Expansion potential was evaluated using population doubling (PD), and multilineage differentiation potential was assessed and compared. RESULTS:The FACS analysis showed numerous CD34+ cells in the teens group compared with the 30s group (mean, 25.4% ± 7.9% vs 16.9% ± 3.9%, respectively; P = .044). The PD results indicated that the teens group had a significantly higher expansion potential than the 30s group at passage 3 (mean, 3.3 ± 0.2 vs 2.8 ± 0.2, respectively; P = .039). Young ACL remnant cells had a higher potential for osteogenic differentiation according to alkaline phosphatase activity (teens group, 169.5 ± 37.9 × 10 ng/mL vs 30s group, 64.9 ± 14.6 × 10 ng/mL; P = .029) and osteocalcin gene expression (teens group, 1.0 ± 0.25 vs 30s group, 0.39 ± 0.01; P = .01). In addition, the teens group displayed a higher differentiation potential to angiogenic lineages (acetylated low-density lipoprotein/Ulex europaeus lectin-stained cell counts) than other groups (teens group, 15.9 ± 1.9 vs 20s group, 8.9 ± 1.3 [P = .04]; teens group, 15.9 ± 1.9 vs 30s group, 7.2 ± 1.5 [P = .008]) and also tube length (teens group, 6939 ± 470 μm vs 30s group, 4119 ± 507 μm; P = .009). CONCLUSION:The ACL remnants of adolescent patients had more CD34+ cells, and those cells had a higher potential for proliferation and multilineage differentiation in vitro. CLINICAL RELEVANCE:During remnant-preserving or remnant-transplanted ACL reconstruction, surgeons should consider the patient's age when predicting the healing potential.
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