Au P, Daheron LM, Duda DG, Cohen KS, Tyrrell JA, Lanning RM, Fukumura D, Scadden DT, Jain RK. 2008. Differential in vivo potential of endothelial progenitor cells from human umbilical cord blood and adult peripheral blood to form functional long-lasting vessels. Blood. 111(3):1302-5. Pubmed: 17993613


Tissue engineering requires formation of a de novo stable vascular network. Because of their ability to proliferate, differentiate into endothelial cells, and form new vessels, blood-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are attractive source of cells for use in engineering blood vessels. However, the durability and function of EPC-derived vessels implanted in vivo are unclear. To this end, we directly compared formation and functions of tissue-engineered blood vessels generated by peripheral blood- and umbilical cord blood-derived EPCs in a model of in vivo vasculogenesis. We found that adult peripheral blood EPCs form blood vessels that are unstable and regress within 3 weeks. In contrast, umbilical cord blood EPCs form normal-functioning blood vessels that last for more than 4 months. These vessels exhibit normal blood flow, perm-selectivity to macromolecules, and induction of leukocyte-endothelial interactions in response to cytokine activation similar to normal vessels. Thus, umbilical cord blood EPCs hold great therapeutic potential, and their use should be pursued for vascular engineering.

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David Scadden’s laboratory is dedicated to discovering the principles governing blood cell production, with the ultimate goal of guiding the development of therapies for blood disorders and cancer.

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