Vascular Potency of Sus Scrofa Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells: A Progenitor Source of Medial but Not Endothelial Cells

Nynke M. S. van den Akker, Felix F. Kolk, Fabienne Jeukens, Sanne Verbruggen, Mick Gagliardi, Stefan Dullens, Ingo Heschel, Mark J. Post, Daniel G. M. Molin*, Johannes Waltenberger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Short-term thrombotic occlusion and compliance mismatch hamper clinical use of synthetic small-diameter tissue engineered vascular grafts. It is felt that preconditioning of the graft with intimal (endothelial) and medial (vascular smooth muscle) cells contributes to patency of the graft. Autologous, non-vessel-derived cells are preferred because of systemic vascular pathology and immunologic concerns. We tested in a porcine model whether cultured bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells, also referred to as mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), are a potential source of intimal or medial cells in vascular tissue engineering. We show that MSC cultured in endothelial medium do not gain an endothelial phenotype or functional characteristics, even after enrichment for CD31, culturing under flow, treatment with additional growth factors (vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2), or co-culture with microvascular endothelial cells (EC). On the other hand, we show that MSC cultured in MSC medium, but not in smooth muscle cell medium, show phenotypical and functional characteristics of vascular smooth muscle cells. We conclude that bone marrow-derived MSCs can be used as a bona fide source of medial, but not EC in small-diameter vascular tissue engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)828-839
JournalTissue Engineering
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

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