• Vascular wall stem cells. Selection and conditioning of progenitors useful for cell therapy. A pathological case study
  • Valente, Sabrina <1980>


  • MED/22 Chirurgia vascolare
  • MED/05 Patologia clinica


  • The arterial wall contains MSCs with mesengenic and angiogenic abilities. These multipotent precursors have been isolated from variously-sized human adult segments, belying the notion that vessel wall is a relatively quiescent tissue. Recently, our group identified in normal human arteries a vasculogenic niche and subsequently isolated and characterized resident MSCs (VW-MSCs) with angiogenic ability and multilineage potential. To prove that VW-MSCs are involved in normal and pathological vascular remodeling, we used a long-term organ culture system; this method was of critical importance to follow spontaneous 3-D vascular remodeling without any influence of blood cells. Next we tried to identify and localize in situ the VW-MSCs and to understand their role in the vascular remodeling in failed arterial homografts. Subsequently, we isolated this cell population and tested in vitro their multilineage differentiation potential through immunohistochemical, immunofluorescence, RT-PCR and ultrastructural analysis. From 25-30cm2 of each vascular wall homograft sample, we isolated a cell population with MSCs properties; these cells expressed MSC lineage molecules (CD90, CD44, CD105, CD29, CD73), stemness (Notch-1, Oct-4, Sca-1, Stro-1) and pericyte markers (NG2) whilst were negative for hematopoietic and endothelial markers (CD34, CD133, CD45, KDR, CD146, CD31 and vWF). MSCs derived from failed homografts (H-MSCs) exhibited adipogenic, osteogenic and chondrogenic potential but scarce propensity to angiogenic and leiomyogenic differentiation. The present study demonstrates that failed homografts contain MSCs with morphological, phenotypic and functional MSCs properties; H-MSCs are long-lived in culture, highly proliferating and endowed with prompt ability to differentiate into adipocytes, osteocytes and chondrocytes; compared with VW-MSCs from normal arteries, H-MSCs show a failure in angiogenic and leiomyogenic differentiation. A switch in MSCs plasticity could be the basis of pathological remodeling and contribute to aneurysmal failure of arterial homografts. The study of VW-MSCs in a pathological setting indicate that additional mechanisms are involved in vascular diseases; their knowledge will be useful for opening new therapeutic options in cardiovascular diseases.


  • 2010-04-20


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Valente, Sabrina (2010) Vascular wall stem cells. Selection and conditioning of progenitors useful for cell therapy. A pathological case study, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Metodologie di ricerca nelle malattie vascolari , 22 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/2857.