Neurogenic potential of engineered mesenchymal stem cells overexpressing VEGF.
ABSTRACT: Numerous signaling molecules are altered following nerve injury, serving as a blueprint for drug delivery approaches that promote nerve repair. However, challenges with achieving the appropriate temporal duration of recombinant protein delivery have limited the therapeutic success of this approach. Genetic engineering of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to enhance the secretion of proangiogenic molecules such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) may provide an alternative. We hypothesized that the administration of VEGF-expressing human MSCs would stimulate neurite outgrowth and proliferation of cell-types involved in neural repair. When cultured with dorsal root ganglion (DRG) explants in vitro, control and VEGF-expressing MSCs (VEGF-MSCs) increased neurite extension and proliferation of Schwann cells (SCs) and endothelial cells, while VEGF-MSCs stimulated significantly greater proliferation of endothelial cells. When embedded within a 3D fibrin matrix, VEGF-MSCs maintained overexpression and expressed detectable levels over 21 days. After transplantation into a murine sciatic nerve injury model, VEGF-MSCs maintained high VEGF levels for 2 weeks. This study provides new insight into the role of VEGF on peripheral nerve injury and the viability of transplanted genetically engineered MSCs. The study aims to provide a framework for future studies with the ultimate goal of developing an improved therapy for nerve repair.
Project description:The current gold standard treatment for peripheral nerve injury is nerve grafting but this has disadvantages such as donor site morbidity. New techniques focus on replacing these grafts with nerve conduits enhanced with growth factors and/or various cell types such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Dental-MSCs (D-MSCs) including stem cells obtained from apical papilla (SCAP), dental pulp stem cells (DPSC), and periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSC) are potential sources of MSCs for nerve repair. Here we present the characterization of various D-MSCs from the same human donors for peripheral nerve regeneration. SCAP, DPSC and PDLSC expressed BDNF, GDNF, NGF, NTF3, ANGPT1 and VEGFA growth factor transcripts. Conditioned media from D-MSCs enhanced neurite outgrowth in an in vitro assay. Application of neutralizing antibodies showed that brain derived neurotrophic factor plays an important mechanistic role by which the D-MSCs stimulate neurite outgrowth. SCAP, DPSC and PDLSC were used to treat a 10 mm nerve gap defect in a rat sciatic nerve injury model. All the stem cell types significantly enhanced axon regeneration after two weeks and showed neuroprotective effects on the dorsal root ganglia neurons. Overall the results suggested SCAP to be the optimal dental stem cell type for peripheral nerve repair.
Project description:VEGF-B primarily provides neuroprotection and improves survival in CNS-derived neurons. However, its actions on the peripheral nervous system have been less characterized. We examined whether VEGF-B mediates peripheral nerve repair. We found that VEGF-B induced extensive neurite growth and branching in trigeminal ganglia neurons in a manner that required selective activation of transmembrane receptors and was distinct from VEGF-A-induced neuronal growth. VEGF-B-induced neurite elongation required PI3K and Notch signaling. In vivo, VEGF-B is required for normal nerve regeneration: mice lacking VEGF-B showed impaired nerve repair with concomitant impaired trophic function. VEGF-B treatment increased nerve regeneration, sensation recovery, and trophic functions of injured corneal peripheral nerves in VEGF-B-deficient and wild-type animals, without affecting uninjured nerves. These selective effects of VEGF-B on injured nerves and its lack of angiogenic activity makes VEGF-B a suitable therapeutic target to treat nerve injury.
Project description:Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) participate in the repair/remodelling of many tissues, where MSCs commit to different lineages dependent on the cues in the local microenvironment. Here we show that TGF?-activated RhoA/ROCK signalling functions as a molecular switch regarding the fate of MSCs in arterial repair/remodelling after injury. MSCs differentiate into myofibroblasts when RhoA/ROCK is turned on, endothelial cells when turned off. The former is pathophysiologic resulting in intimal hyperplasia, whereas the latter is physiological leading to endothelial repair. Further analysis revealed that MSC RhoA activation promotes formation of an extracellular matrix (ECM) complex consisting of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Inactivation of RhoA/ROCK in MSCs induces matrix metalloproteinase-3-mediated CTGF cleavage, resulting in VEGF release and MSC endothelial differentiation. Our findings uncover a novel mechanism by which cell-ECM interactions determine stem cell lineage specificity and offer additional molecular targets to manipulate MSC-involved tissue repair/regeneration.
Project description:Clinical efficacy of stem cells for nerve repair is likely to be influenced by issues including donor age and in vitro expansion time. We isolated human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) from bone marrow of young (16-18 years) and old (67-75 years) donors and analyzed their capacity to differentiate and promote neurite outgrowth from dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons. Treatment of MSC with growth factors (forskolin, basic fibroblast growth factor, platelet derived growth factor-AA and glial growth factor-2) induced protein expression of the glial cell marker S100 in cultures from young but not old donors. MSC expressed various neurotrophic factor mRNA transcripts. Growth factor treatment enhanced the levels of BDNF and VEGF transcripts with corresponding increases in protein release in both donor cell groups. MSC in co-culture with DRG neurons significantly enhanced total neurite length which, in the case of young but not old donors, was further potentiated by treatment of the MSC with the growth factors. Stem cells from young donors maintained their proliferation rate over a time course of 9 weeks whereas those from the old donors showed increased population doubling times. MSC from young donors, differentiated with growth factors after long-term culture, maintained their ability to enhance neurite outgrowth of DRG. Therefore, MSC isolated from young donors are likely to be a favourable cell source for nerve repair.
Project description:Studies have shown that stem cells exert their therapeutic effects on acute kidney injury (AKI) through paracrine/endocrine actions. If the protective effect is mediated in an endocrine manner, the injection of the factors that these cells secrete could be effective, but the effect of conditioned medium (CM) remains controversial.In this study, we cultured mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and then transplanted them into an ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury model. CM was also injected into mice, and the histological changes, level of cell proliferation, loss of peritubular capillaries and anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects were examined at different time points.The results showed that MSC infusion improved renal function and histological alterations, leading to significantly reduced mortality. MSC administration also promoted kidney microvasculature repair, attenuated kidney peritubular capillary loss, increased the proliferation of parenchymal cells and decreased CD68-positive macrophage infiltration and apoptotic cells. Although we determined that CM contained proangiogenic factors, including hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), no favorable effects were observed during the course of repair.Our data show that MSC infusion promotes kidney repair in a variety of ways, including enhancement of the repair of peritubular capillaries and tubular epithelial cells and anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects. MSCs can secrete high levels of proangiogenic growth factors, but CM results in a nonsignificant improvement, indicating that MSCs play a role in kidney repair through paracrine rather than endocrine mechanisms. These results indicate that MSC infusion is a promising therapeutic strategy for promoting kidney repair after injury.
Project description:Biofunctionalization of artificial nerve implants by incorporation of specific bioactive factors has greatly enhanced the success of grafting procedures for peripheral nerve regeneration. However, most studies on novel biofunctionalized implants have emphasized the promotion of neuronal and axonal repair over vascularization, a process critical for long-term functional restoration. We constructed a dual-biofunctionalized chitosan/collagen composite scaffold with Ile-Lys-Val-Ala-Val (IKVAV) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) by combining solution blending, in situ lyophilization, and surface biomodification. Immobilization of VEGF and IKVAV on the scaffolds was confirmed both qualitatively by staining and quantitatively by ELISA. Various single- and dual-biofunctionalized scaffolds were compared for the promotion of endothelial cell (EC) and Schwann cell (SC) proliferation as well as the induction of angiogenic and neuroregeneration-associated genes by these cells in culture. The efficacy of these scaffolds for vascularization was evaluated by implantation in chicken embryos, while functional repair capacity in vivo was assessed in rats subjected to a 10?mm sciatic nerve injury. Dual-biofunctionalized scaffolds supported robust EC and SC proliferation and upregulated the expression levels of multiple genes and proteins related to neuroregeneration and vascularization. Dual-biofunctionalized scaffolds demonstrated superior vascularization induction in embryos and greater promotion of vascularization, myelination, and functional recovery in rats. These findings support the clinical potential of VEGF/IKVAV dual-biofunctionalized chitosan/collagen composite scaffolds for facilitating peripheral nerve regeneration, making it an attractive candidate for repairing critical nerve defect. The study may provide a critical experimental and theoretical basis for the development and design of new artificial nerve implants with excellent biological performance.
Project description:In many glomerular diseases severe injury to the mesangium may occur, leading to matrix dissolution and damage to the glomerular capillaries. Although the destruction of glomerular architecture may lead to permanent injury, in some cases spontaneous recovery occurs. The mechanisms that mediate this recovery are unknown. In this study we provide evidence for glomerular capillary repair (angiogenesis) in the adult injured glomerulus. Injection of anti-Thy 1 antibody into rats results in severe mesangiolysis with capillary ballooning, microaneurysm formation, and loss of endothelial cells in addition to mesangial cells. Although mesangial proliferation is a major response to injury, proliferation of endothelial cells also can be documented from days 2 to 14 in association with repair of the capillaries. The endothelial cell proliferation peaks on days 2 and 7, when it is seven- to ninefold greater than normal. Many of the endothelial cells display morphological features of angiogenesis. The initial wave of endothelial cell proliferation can be reduced by 40% with neutralizing anti-basic fibroblast growth factor antibodies (P < 0.001). The later glomerular endothelial cell proliferation is associated with upregulated expression of vascular permeability factor/endothelial cell growth factor (VPF/VEGF) and an increase of flk, a VPF/VEGF receptor. Although PDGF is expressed in this model, anti-PDGF antibody treatment did not affect the endothelial cell proliferative response. In summary, glomerular endothelial cells have an active role in the glomerular response to injury. Glomeruli are capable of healing microaneurysms, and the mechanism involves basic fibroblast growth factor- and VPF/VEGF-mediated endothelial proliferative responses.
Project description:Repair deficiency after endometrial injury is an important reason for intra-uterine adhesions, amenorrhea, and infertility in females. Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell (BMSC) transplantation is effective in repairing the damaged endometrium. However, the possibility of using umbilical cord-derived MSCs (UC-MSCs) to treat endometrial injury is rarely reported.Ethanol (95%) was injected into rat uterus to establish a model of endometrial injury. UC-MSCs were injected through the tail vein, either as a single, twice, or thrice administration. Functional restoration of the uterus was assessed by testing embryo implantation rates. Endometrial morphological alteration was observed by hematoxylin and eosin staining. Endometrial fibrosis, markers of epithelial and stromal cells of endometrium, cell proliferation and angiogenesis, and inflammatory factors were detected using immunohistochemistry, Western blotting, and quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction.Endometrial morphology and embryo implantation rates were significantly improved on day 8 of transplantation among single-, twice-, or thrice-administered rats. Moreover, UC-MSCs could alleviate fibrosis in general, and reduced the expression of fibrosis markers, ?-smooth muscle actin (?-SMA) and transforming growth factor (TGF)-?. The cell proliferation marker Ki-67 had a positive expression in the injured endometrium after UC-MSC transplantation. The endometrial stromal marker vimentin and epithelial marker cytokeratin-19 (CK-19) expressions were visibly increased. The expression of vascular markers CD31, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)A, and matrix metalloprotein (MMP)9 was generally upregulated. Proinflammatory factors interferon (IFN)-?, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-?, and interleukin (IL)-2 were significantly downregulated in the rats administered UC-MSCs twice and thrice.UC-MSC transplantation contributed to the repair of endometrial injury and restoration of fertility, likely through the suppression of excessive fibrosis and inflammation, and enhancement of endometrial cell proliferation and vascular remodeling.
Project description:Angiogenesis is a critical part of the endogenous repair process in brain injury and disease, and requires at least two sequential steps. First, angiogenic sprouting of endothelial cells occurs, which entails the initial proliferation of endothelial cells and remodeling of the surrounding extracellular matrix. Second, vessel stabilization is necessary to prevent vascular regression, which relies on vascular smooth muscle recruitment to surround the young vessels. Marrow stromal cells (MSCs) have been shown to promote revascularization after hindlimb ischemia, cardiac ischemia, and stroke. SB623 cells are derived from marrow stromal cells by transfection with a Notch1 intracellular domain (NICD)-expressing plasmid and are known to elicit functional improvement in experimental stroke. These cells are currently used in human clinical testing for treatment of chronic stroke. In the current study, the angiogenic property of SB623 cells was investigated using cell-based assays.Angiogenic paracrine factors secreted by SB623 cells and the parental MSCs were identified using the Qantibody Human Angiogenesis Array. To measure the angiogenic activity of conditioned medium from SB623 cells and MSCs, endothelial tube formation in the human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) assay and endothelial cell sprouting and branching in the rodent aortic ring assay were quantified. To validate the angiogenic contribution of VEGF in conditioned medium, endothelial cells and aortic rings were treated with SU5416, which inhibits VEGFR2 at low dose.Conditioned medium from SB623 cells promoted survival and proliferation of endothelial cells under serum-deprived conditions and supports HUVEC vascular tube formation. In a rodent aortic ring assay, there was enhanced endothelial sprouting and branching in response to SB623-derived conditioned medium. SU5416 treatment partially reversed the effect of conditioned medium on endothelial cell survival and proliferation while completely abrogate HUVEC tube formation and endothelial cell sprouting and branching in aortic ring assays.These data indicate that SB623 cell-secreted angiogenic factors promoted several aspects of angiogenesis, which likely contribute to promoting recovery in the injured brain.
Project description:The combined delivery of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) to sites of bone injury results in enhanced repair compared to the administration of a single factor or a combination of two factors. Based on these findings, we hypothesized that coexpression of VEGF and BMP-6 genes would enhance the osteoblastic differentiation of rat bone-marrow-derived stem cells (rMSCs) and osteogenesis by comparison to rMSCs that do not express VEGF and BMP-6. We prepared a GFP tagged adenovirus vector (Ad-VEGF+BMP-6) that contained DNA encoding the hVEGF and hBMP-6 genes. rMSCs were transduced with the virus, and the successful transduction was confirmed by green fluorescence and by production of VEGF and BMP-6 proteins. The cells were cultured to assess osteoblastic differentiation or administered in the Fischer 344 rats to assess bone formation. Mineralization of rMSCs transduced with Ad-VEGF+BMP-6 was significantly enhanced over the nontransduced rMSCs. Only transduced rMSCs could induce osteogenesis in vivo, whereas Ad-VEGF+BMP-6 or nontransduced rMSCs alone did not induce osteogenesis. The data suggests that the combined delivery of MSCs, VEGF, and BMP-6 is an attractive option for bone repair therapy.