Isolation, characterization, and functional assessment of novel smooth muscle like stem progenitors

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Sawhney, Neha
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University College Cork
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Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) are one of the key players in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. The origin of neointimal VSMC has thus become a prime focus of research. VSMC originate from multiple progenitors cell types. In embryo the well-defined sources of VSMC include; neural crest cells, proepicardial cells and EPC. In adults, though progenitor cells from bone marrow (BM), circulation and tissues giving rise to SMC have been identified, no progress has been made in terms of isolating highly proliferative clonal population of adult stem cells with potential to differentiate into SMC. Smooth muscle like stem progenitor cells (SMSPC) were isolated from cardiopulmonary bypass filters of adult patients undergoing CABG. Rat SMSPC have previously been isolated by our group from the bone marrow of Fischer rats and also from the peripheral blood of monocrotaline induced pulmonary hypertension (MCT-PHTN) animal model. Characterization of novel SMSPC exhibited stem cell characteristics and machinery for differentiation into SMC. The expression of Isl-1 on SMSPC provided unique molecular identity to these circulating stem progenitor cells. The functional potential of SMSPC was determined by monitoring adoptive transfer of GFP+ SMSPC in rodent models of vascular injury; carotid injury and MCT-PHTN. The participation of SMSPC in vascular pathology was confirmed by quantifying the peripheral blood, and engrafted levels of SMSPC using RT-PCR. In terms of translating into clinical practice, SMSPC could be a good tool for detecting the atherosclerotic plaque burden. The current study demonstrates the existence of novel adult stem progenitor cells in circulation, with the potential role in vascular pathology.
Vascular smooth muscle cells , Adult stem progenitor cells
Sawhney, N. 2013. Isolation, characterization, and functional assessment of novel smooth muscle like stem progenitors. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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