Resident angiogenic mesenchymal stem cells from multiorgan donor thoracic aortas

Foroni, Laura (2008) Resident angiogenic mesenchymal stem cells from multiorgan donor thoracic aortas, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Metodologie di ricerca nelle malattie vascolari e toraciche, 20 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/976.
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Stem cells are one of the most fascinating areas of biology today, and since the discover of an adult population, i.e., adult Stem Cells (aSCs), they have generated much interest especially for their application potential as a source for cell based regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. aSCs have been found in different tissues including bone marrow, skin, intestine, central nervous system, where they reside in a special microenviroment termed “niche” which regulate the homeostasis and repair of adult tissues. The arterial wall of the blood vessels is much more plastic than ever before believed. Several animal studies have demonstrated the presence of cells with stem cell characteristics within the adult vessels. Recently, it has been also hypothesized the presence of a “vasculogenic zone” in human adult arteries in which a complete hierarchy of resident stem cells and progenitors could be niched during lifetime. Accordingly, it can be speculated that in that location resident mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) with the ability to differentiate in smooth muscle cells, surrounding pericytes and fibroblasts are present. The present research was aimed at identifying in situ and isolating MSCs from thoracic aortas of young and healthy heart-beating multiorgan donors. Immunohistochemistry performed on fresh and frozen human thoracic aortas demonstrated the presence of the vasculogenic zone between the media and the adventitial layers in which a well preserved plexus of CD34 positive cells was found. These cells expressed intensely HLA-I antigens both before and after cryopreservation and after 4 days of organ cultures remained viable. Following these preliminary results, we succeeded to isolate mesenchymal cells from multi-organ thoracic aortas using a mechanical and enzymatic combined procedure. Cells had phenotypic characteristics of MSC i.e., CD44+, CD90+, CD105+, CD166+, CD34low, CD45- and revealed a transcript expression of stem cell markers, e.g., OCT4, c-kit, BCRP-1, IL6 and BMI-1. As previously documented using bone marrow derived MSCs, resident vascular wall MSCs were able to differentiate in vitro into endothelial cells in the presence of low-serum supplemented with VEGF-A (50 ng/ml) for 7 days. Under the condition described above, cultured cells showed an increased expression of KDR and eNOS, down-regulation of the CD133 transcript, vWF expression as documented by flow cytometry, immunofluorescence, qPCR and TEM. Moreover, matrigel assay revealed that VEGF induced cells were able to form capillary-like structures within 6 hours of seeding. In summary, these findings indicate that thoracic aortas from heart-beating, multi-organ donors are highly suitable for obtaining MSCs with the ability to differentiate in vitro into endothelial cells. Even though their differentiating potential remains to be fully established, it is believed that their angiogenic ability could be a useful property for allogenic use. These cells can be expanded rapidly, providing numbers which are adequate for therapeutic neovascularization; furthermore they can be cryostored in appropriate cell banking facilities for later use.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Foroni, Laura
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
adult stem cells mesenchymal stem cells angiogenesis multiorgan donor thoracic aortas
Data di discussione
16 Aprile 2008

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