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Classification and Functional Characterization of Vasa Vasorum-Associated Perivascular Progenitor Cells in Human Aorta

Billaud, Marie and Donnenberg, Vera S. and Ellis, Bradley W. and Meyer, E. Michael and Donnenberg, Albert D. and Hill, Jennifer C. and Richards, Tara D. and Gleason, Thomas G. and Phillippi, Julie A. (2017) Classification and Functional Characterization of Vasa Vasorum-Associated Perivascular Progenitor Cells in Human Aorta. Stem Cell Reports, 9 (1). pp. 292-303. ISSN 22136711

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In the microcirculation, pericytes are believed to function as mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). We hypothesized that the vasa vasorum harbor progenitor cells within the adventitia of human aorta. Pericytes, endothelial progenitor cells, and other cell subpopulations were detected among freshly isolated adventitial cells using flow cytometry. Purified cultured pericytes were enriched for the MSC markers CD105 and CD73 and depleted of the endothelial markers von Willebrand factor and CD31. Cultured pericytes were capable of smooth muscle lineage progression including inducible expression of smooth muscle myosin heavy chain, calponin, and α-smooth muscle actin, and adopted a spindle shape. Pericytes formed spheroids when cultured on Matrigel substrates and peripherally localized with branching endothelial cells in vitro. Our results indicate that the vasa vasorum form a progenitor cell niche distinct from other previously described progenitor populations in human adventitia. These findings could have important implications for understanding the complex pathophysiology of human aortic disease.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Donnenberg, Vera
Ellis, Bradley W.
Meyer, E. Michael
Donnenberg, Albert
Hill, Jennifer
Richards, Tara
Gleason, Thomas
Phillippi, Julie
Date: 11 July 2017
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Stem Cell Reports
Volume: 9
Number: 1
Publisher: Elsevier
Page Range: pp. 292-303
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2017.04.028
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Bioengineering
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 22136711
Official URL:
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 11 May 2020 14:33
Last Modified: 11 May 2020 14:33


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