, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 217-226
Date: 18 Feb 2011

The characteristics of endothelial progenitor cells derived from mononuclear cells of rat bone marrow in different culture conditions

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Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) derived from bone marrow are known to be heterogeneous. In this study, we tried to find favorable conditions that induce the differentiation of mononuclear cells (MNCs) from bone marrow into EPCs. The differentiation capacity of MNCs from rat bone marrow was investigated in different conditions, such as different media, different induction times and different culture surfaces. The cell morphology and endothelial biomarkers associated with differentiated MNCs were studied. Our results indicated that MNCs cultured in EGM-2MV (Endothelial cell basal medium-2, plus SingleQuots of growth supplements) developed a bursiform shape, a late EPC-like morphology, while MNCs cultured in complete medium (CM, M199 with 10% FBS, 20 ng/mL VEGF and 10 ng/mL bFGF) showed a spindle shape, an early EPC-like morphology. Cells of both morphologies were able to incorporate DiI-ac-LDL and bind lectin in vitro. MNCs cultured in EGM-2MV exhibited a higher proliferation rate and higher eNOS expression than MNCs cultured in CM. MNCs cultured in EGM-2MV had the ability to form tubes on Matrigel. Flow cytometry results indicated that CD133 expression was highest at day 12 and that the greatest number of cells positive for both FLK-1 and CD133 appeared at day 20 from cells cultured in dishes without fibronectin coating. In addition, the expression levels of CD133, CD31 and FLK-1/CD133 were not significantly different between cells of different shapes. Our experiments suggest that MNCs from bone marrow can be differentiated into late EP-like cells in EGM-2MV, which have the ability to rapidly proliferate. These MNCs can also be differentiated into early EP-like cells in CM. Additionally, fibronectin may not be necessary for the differentiation of EPCs to mature ECs after three generations. Differentiated MNCs from bone marrow in EGM-2MV have the characteristics of EPCs, although the expression levels of EPC markers were lower than previously reported.