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Inducing vascular endothelial cells from amniotic stem cells

Cell culture and mouse studies identified methods to reprogram amniotic cells into vascular endothelial cells. In human amniotic cells, transfection with three transcription factors-ETS variant gene 2 (ETV2), friend leukemia virus integration 1 (FLI1) and v-ets erythroblastosis virus E26 oncogene homolog (ERG)-plus competitive inhibition of transforming growth factor-b (TGFB; TGF-b) led to formation of cells with morphological, genetic and functional similarities to natural vascular endothelial cells. In mice with damaged livers, implantation of the induced vascular endothelial cells led to growth of functional hepatic blood vessels, whereas implantation of control cells did not. Next steps could include testing the effect of induced vascular endothelial cells in mouse models of disease and scaling up production of the cells.

SciBX 5(46); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1218
Published online Nov. 29, 2012

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Ginsberg, M. et al. Cell; published online Oct. 18, 2012;
Contact: Shahin Rafii, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, N.Y.