5:04 PM
Feb 12, 2018
 |  BC Extra  |  Preclinical News

Vascular endothelial stem cells could enable regenerative therapy

In a study published in Cell Stem Cell, researchers at Osaka University and colleagues discovered a population of vascular endothelial cells that could be used as a regenerative therapy for vascular injury and hemophilia.

The existence of tissue-resident vascular endothelial stem cells (VESCs) and their role in angiogenesis had been under debate -- many in the field believed angiogenesis in adults is initiated by mature resident endothelial cells. Through a series of flow cytometry and gene expression analyses, followed by primary mouse cell culture and mouse transplantation experiments, the researchers identified a population of endothelial cells with stem cell properties.

These cells expressed the surface markers CD157 and CD200 and were localized in the vasculature of multiple organs in mice, including liver, heart, limb muscle, skin, retina and brain. In a mouse model of liver vascular injury, cells transplanted to the injured tissue self-renewed and generated new blood vessels.

In a mouse model of hemophilia A, transplant of CD157-positive CD200-positive VESCs from healthy mice decreased the duration of bleeding from over 60 minutes to 5.6 minutes.

In the paper, the authors said future work could include investigating whether CD157-positive VESCs drive vascular injury response in humans. Lead author Nobuyuki Takakura told BioCentury the team is also looking for additional cell surface markers to identify VESCs. Takakura is a professor in Osaka University’s Department of Signal Transduction and Research Institute for Microbial Diseases.

The authors also suggested disrupting this cell population could block pro-tumor angiogenesis in cancer.

The researchers have filed a patent application based on the findings in the study.

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