Cell-tracing studies in the mouse indicate that the cardiac lineage arises from a population that expresses the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2, Flk-1), suggesting that it may develop from a progenitor with vascular potential. Using the embryonic stem (ES) cell differentiation model, we have identified a cardiovascular progenitor based on the temporal expression of the primitive streak (PS) marker and Flk-1. Comparable progenitors could also be isolated from head-fold stage embryos. When cultured with cytokines known to function during cardiogenesis, individual cardiovascular progenitors generated colonies that displayed cardiomyocyte, endothelial, and vascular smooth muscle (VSM) potential. Isolation and characterization of this previously unidentified population suggests that the mammalian cardiovascular system develops from multipotential progenitors.
In the adult central nervous system, the vasculature of the neurogenic niche regulates neural stem cell behavior by providing circulating and secreted factors. Age-related decline of neurogenesis and cognitive function is associated with reduced blood flow and decreased numbers of neural stem cells. Therefore, restoring the functionality of the niche should counteract some of the negative effects of aging. We show that factors found in young blood induce vascular remodeling, culminating in increased neurogenesis and improved olfactory discrimination in aging mice. Further, we show that GDF11 alone can improve the cerebral vasculature and enhance neurogenesis. The identification of factors that slow the age-dependent deterioration of the neurogenic niche in mice may constitute the basis for new methods of treating age-related neurodegenerative and neurovascular diseases.
Mechanisms controlling vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) plasticity and renewal still remain to be elucidated completely. A class of small RNAs called microRNAs (miRs) regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Here, we show a critical role of the miR-143/145 cluster in SMC differentiation and vascular pathogenesis, also through the generation of a mouse model of miR-143 and -145 knockout (KO). We determined that the expression of miR-143 and -145 is decreased in acute and chronic vascular stress (transverse aortic constriction and in aortas of the ApoE KO mouse). In human aortic aneurysms, the expression of miR-143 and -145 was significantly decreased compared with control aortas. In addition, overexpression of miR-143 and -145 decreased neointimal formation in a rat model of acute vascular injury. An in-depth analysis of the miR-143/145 KO mouse model showed that this miR cluster is expressed mostly in the SMC compartment, both during development and postnatally, in vessels and SMC-containing organs. Loss of miR-143 and miR-145 expression induces structural modifications of the aorta, because of an incomplete differentiation of VSMCs. In conclusion, our results show that the miR-143/145 gene cluster has a critical role during SMC differentiation and strongly suggest its involvement in the reversion of the VSMC differentiation phenotype that occurs during vascular disease. Cell Death and Differentiation (2009) 16, 1590-1598; doi: 10.1038/cdd.2009.153; published online 9 October 2009
The proepicardial organ is an important transient structure that contributes cells to various cardiac lineages. However, its contribution to the coronary endothelium has been disputed, with conflicting data arising in chick and mouse. Here we resolve this conflict by identifying two proepicardial markers, ( ) and ( ), that genetically delineate heretofore uncharacterized proepicardial subcompartments. In contrast to previously fate-mapped -expressing cells that give rise to vascular smooth muscle, - and -expressing proepicardial cells give rise to coronary vascular endothelium both in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, and proepicardial cells contribute to the early sinus venosus and cardiac endocardium, respectively, two tissues linked to vascular endothelial formation at later stages. Taken together, our studies demonstrate that the proepicardial organ is a molecularly compartmentalized structure, reconciling prior chick and mouse data and providing a more complete understanding of the progenitor populations that establish the coronary vascular endothelium. ► The proepicardium is organized into genetically distinct subcompartments ► - and -expressing compartments partially differ in their downstream fates ► The - and -expressing compartments both give rise to endothelial cells ► cells contribute to the sinus venosus endothelium among other tissues Katz et al. find unexpected cellular heterogeneity within the mouse proepicardium. Their work shows that diverse proepicardial cell subpopulations have distinct developmental potentials and thus contribute differentially to endothelial and smooth muscle cells of the coronary vasculature, in addition to other cardiac cell types.
The segmental premature aging disease Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome (HGPS) is caused by a truncated and farnesylated form of Lamin A called progerin. HGPS affects mesenchymal lineages, including the skeletal system, dermis, and vascular smooth muscle (VSMC). To understand the underlying molecular pathology of HGPS, we derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from HGPS dermal fibroblasts. The iPSCs were differentiated into neural progenitors, endothelial cells, fibroblasts, VSMCs, and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Progerin levels were highest in MSCs, VSMCs, and fibroblasts, in that order, with these lineages displaying increased DNA damage, nuclear abnormalities, and HGPS-VSMC accumulating numerous calponin-staining inclusion bodies. Both HGPS-MSC and -VSMC viability was compromised by stress and hypoxia in vitro and in vivo (MSC). Because MSCs reside in low oxygen niches in vivo, we propose that, in HGPS, this causes additional depletion of the MSC pool responsible for replacing differentiated cells lost to progerin toxicity. ► Five different cell lineages are made from human progeria (HGPS) iPSCs ► Progerin expression is highest in MSCs, VMSCs and fibroblasts ► HGPS-MSC survival is impaired by hypoxia in vitro and in vivo ► HGPS-VSMCs, also stress sensitive, accumulate calponin-staining inclusion bodies
Autologous or synthetic vascular grafts are used routinely for providing access in hemodialysis or for arterial bypass in patients with cardiovascular disease. However, some patients either lack suitable autologous tissue or cannot receive synthetic grafts. Such patients could benefit from a vascular graft produced by tissue engineering. Here, we engineer vascular grafts using human allogeneic or canine smooth muscle cells grown on a tubular polyglycolic acid scaffold. Cellular material was removed with detergents to render the grafts nonimmunogenic. Mechanical properties of the human vascular grafts were similar to native human blood vessels, and the grafts could withstand long-term storage at 4 degrees C. Human engineered grafts were tested in a baboon model of arteriovenous access for hemodialysis. Canine grafts were tested in a dog model of peripheral and coronary artery bypass. Grafts demonstrated excellent patency and resisted dilatation, calcification, and intimal hyperplasia. Such tissue-engineered vascular grafts may provide a readily available option for patients without suitable autologous tissue or for those who are not candidates for synthetic grafts.
Abstract The in vivo endothelialisation of materials provides a promising strategy for the rapid re-endothelialisation of a cardiovascular implantation. Although many studies have focused on improving the rapid endothelialisation through the immobilisation of bioactive molecules, it should be noted that the endothelial cells (ECs) will compete with other cell types in vivo . Thus, the efforts to partially enhance the EC growth without considering the cell competition might be misleading and meaningless in vivo . In this study, we demonstrated that the competitive growth of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) over human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMCs) could be increased through the synergic action of the nonspecific resistance to phosphorylcholine and the specific recognition of the REDV peptide. Further in vivo data indicate that the competitive ability of ECs over SMCs, instead of the number of ECs, is a significantly more important criterion for the development of a pure endothelial layer in vivo and thus the attainment of a better anti-restenosis effect. Consequently, the surface tailoring of a stent to obtain high endothelial cell selectivity is likely an effective design criterion for in situ endothelialisation and a possible future solution for the problem of in-stent restenosis.
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has been recognized as a smooth muscle relaxant. Cystathionine γ-lyase, which is localized to smooth muscle, is thought to be the major H2S-producing enzyme in the thoracic aorta. Here we show that 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase (3MST) and cysteine aminotransferase (CAT) are localized to vascular endothelium in the thoracic aorta and produce H2S. Both 3MST and CAT were localized to endothelium. Lysates of vascular endothelial cells produced H2S from cysteine and α-ketoglutarate. The present study provides a new insight into the production and release of H2S as a smooth muscle relaxant from vascular endothelium.
During mammalian development, a subpopulation of endothelial cells in the cardinal vein (CV) expresses lymphatic-specific genes and subsequently develops into the first lymphatic structures, collectively termed as lymph sacs. Budding, sprouting and ballooning of lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) have been proposed to underlie the emergence of LECs from the CV, but the exact mechanisms of lymph vessel formation remain poorly understood. Applying selective plane illumination-based ultramicroscopy to entire wholemount-immunostained mouse embryos, we visualized the complete developing vascular system with cellular resolution. Here, we report emergence of the earliest detectable LECs as strings of loosely connected cells between the CV and superficial venous plexus. Subsequent aggregation of LECs resulted in formation of two distinct, previously unidentified lymphatic structures, the dorsal peripheral longitudinal lymphatic vessel (PLLV) and the ventral primordial thoracic duct (pTD), which at later stages formed a direct contact with the CV. Providing new insights into their function, we found vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) and the matrix component CCBE1 indispensable for LEC budding and migration. Altogether, we present a significantly more detailed view and novel model of early lymphatic development.