Coronary artery stenting or angioplasty procedures frequently result in long-term endothelial dysfunction or loss and complications including arterial thrombosis and myocardial infarction. Stem cell-based therapies have been proposed to support endothelial regeneration. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) differentiate into endothelial cells (ECs) in the presence of VEGF-A in vitro. Application of VEGF-A and MSC-derived ECs at the interventional site is a complex clinical challenge. In this study, we examined the effect of atherogenic cytokines (IL-6, TNFα, and Ang II) on EC differentiation and function. MSCs (CD44+, CD73+, CD90+, CD14-, and CD45-) were isolated from the bone marrow of Yucatan microswine. Naïve MSCs cultured in differentiation media containing VEGF-A (50 ng/mL) demonstrated increased expression of EC-specific markers (vWF, PECAM-1, and VE-cadherin), VEGFR-2 and Sox18, and enhanced endothelial tube formation. IL-6 or TNFα caused a dose-dependent attenuation of EC marker expression in VEGF-A-stimulated MSCs. In contrast, Ang II enhanced EC marker expression in VEGF-A-stimulated MSCs. Addition of Ang II to VEGF-A and IL-6 or TNFα was sufficient to rescue the EC phenotype. Thus, Ang II promotes but IL-6 and TNFα inhibit VEGF-A-induced differentiation of MSCs into ECs. These findings have important clinical implications for therapies intended to increase cardiac vascularity and reendothelialize coronary arteries following intervention.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Biology