Endothelial progenitors encapsulated in bioartificial niches are insulated from systemic cytotoxicity and are angiogenesis competent.

Ratliff BB, Ghaly T, Brudnicki P, Yasuda K, Rajdev M, Bank M, Mares J, Hatzopoulos AK, Goligorsky MS
Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2010 299 (1): F178-86

PMID: 20410213 · PMCID: PMC2904163 · DOI:10.1152/ajprenal.00102.2010

Intrinsic stem cells (SC) participate in tissue remodeling and regeneration in various diseases and following toxic insults. Failure of tissue regeneration is in part attributed to lack of SC protection from toxic stress of noxious stimuli, thus prompting intense research efforts to develop strategies for SC protection and functional preservation for in vivo delivery. One strategy is creation of artificial SC niches in an attempt to mimic the requirements of endogenous SC niches by generating scaffolds with properties of extracellular matrix. Here, we investigated the use of hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogels as an artificial SC niche and examined regenerative capabilities of encapsulated embryonic endothelial progenitor cells (eEPC) in three different in vivo models. Hydrogel-encapsulated eEPC demonstrated improved resistance to toxic insult (adriamycin) in vitro, thus prompting in vivo studies. Implantation of HA hydrogels containing eEPC to mice with adriamycin nephropathy or renal ischemia resulted in eEPC mobilization to injured kidneys (and to a lesser extent to the spleen) and improvement of renal function, which was equal or superior to adoptively transferred EPC by intravenous infusion. In mice with hindlimb ischemia, EPC encapsulated in HA hydrogels dramatically accelerated the recovery of collateral circulation with the efficacy superior to intravenous infusion of EPC. In conclusion, HA hydrogels protect eEPC against adriamycin cytotoxicity and implantation of eEPC encapsulated in HA hydrogels supports renal regeneration in ischemic and cytotoxic (adriamycin) nephropathy and neovascularization of ischemic hindlimb, thus establishing their functional competence and superior capabilities to deliver stem cells stored in and released from this bioartificial niche.

MeSH Terms (27)

Animals Antibiotics, Antineoplastic Cell Line Cell Movement Cell Proliferation Cell Survival Disease Models, Animal Dose-Response Relationship, Drug Doxorubicin Embryonic Stem Cells Endothelial Cells Fibronectins Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogels Ischemia Kidney Kidney Diseases Mice Mice, Inbred BALB C Muscle, Skeletal Neovascularization, Physiologic Regional Blood Flow Stem Cell Niche Stem Cell Transplantation Time Factors Tissue Engineering Tissue Scaffolds

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