Cell-based therapy is a promising approach designed to enhance neovascularization and function of ischemic tissues. Interaction between endothelial and smooth muscle cells regulates vessels development and remodeling and is required for the formation of a mature and functional vascular network. Therefore, we assessed whether coadministration of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and smooth muscle progenitor cells (SMPCs) can increase the efficiency of cell therapy. Unilateral hindlimb ischemia was surgically induced in athymic nude mice treated with or without intravenous injection of EPCs (0.5×10), SMPCs (0.5×10) and EPCs+SMPCs (0.25×10+0.25×10). Vessel density and foot perfusion were increased in mice treated with EPCs+SMPCs compared to animals receiving EPCs alone or SMPCs alone (P<0.001). In addition, capillary and arteriolar densities were enhanced in EPC+SMPC-treated mice compared to SMPC and EPC groups (P<0.01). We next examined the role of Ang-1/Tie2 signaling in the beneficial effect of EPC and SMPC coadministration. Small interfering RNA directed against Ang-1-producing SMPCs or Tie2-expressing EPCs blocked vascular network formation in Matrigel coculture assays, reduced the rate of incorporated EPCs within vascular structure, and abrogated the efficiency of cell therapy. Production of Ang-1 by SMPCs activates Tie2-expressing EPCs, resulting in increase of EPC survival and formation of a stable vascular network. Subsequently, the efficiency of EPC- and SMPC-based cotherapy is markedly increased. Therefore, coadministration of different types of vascular progenitor cells may constitute a novel therapeutic strategy for improving the treatment of ischemic diseases.
- Progenitor cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine