In-depth evaluation of commercially available human vascular smooth muscle cells phenotype: Implications for vascular tissue engineering

Sara B.H. Timraz, Ilyas A.H. Farhat, Ghada Alhussein, Nicolas Christoforou, Jeremy C.M. Teo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In vitro research on vascular tissue engineering has extensively used isolated primary human or animal smooth muscle cells (SMC). Research programs that lack such facilities tend towards commercially available primary cells sources. Here, we aim to evaluate the capacity of commercially available human SMC to maintain their contractile phenotype, and determine if dedifferentiation towards the synthetic phenotype occurs in response to conventional cell culture and passaging without any external biochemical or mechanical stimuli. Lower passage SMC adopted a contractile phenotype marked by a relatively slower proliferation rate, higher expression of proteins of the contractile apparatus and smoothelin, elongated morphology, and reduced deposition of collagen types I and III. As the passage number increased, migratory capacity was enhanced, average cell speed, total distance and net distance travelled increased up to passage 8. Through the various assays, corroborative evidence pinpoints SMC at passage 7 as the transition point between the contractile and synthetic phenotypes, while passage 8 distinctly and consistently exhibited characteristics of synthetic phenotype. This knowledge is particularly useful in selecting SMC of appropriate passage number for the target vascular tissue engineering application, for example, a homeostatic vascular graft for blood vessel replacement versus recreating atherosclerotic blood vessel model in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-176
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Volume343
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2016

Keywords

  • Phenotype
  • Phenotypic modulation
  • Smooth muscle cell
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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