Tunica interna endothelial cell kinase (TEK) is expressed in both hematopoietic and endothelial cells and plays a crucial role in hematopoiesis and angiogenesis in mouse development. In humans, however, little is known about the hematopoietic and angiogenic potentials of TEK-expressing cells in umbilical cord blood (CB) cells, which originate during the human fetal period.We therefore compared the hematopoietic and angiogenic abilities of CB CD34+TEK+ and CD34+TEK- cells by using a clonogenic assay and xenotransplantation into immunodeficient NOD/SCID mice. The results showed that colony-forming cells and cells capable of repopulating in NOD/SCID mice were present in both CD34+TEK+ and CD34+TEK- cells and that the hematopoietic activities of the cell types were similar. In contrast, the potential to differentiate into endothelial cells in vivo was greater in the CD34+TEK+ cells. All NOD/SCID mice engrafted with CD34+TEK+ cells had human CD31-expressing and VE-cadherin-expressing endothelial cells in the vessels of the ischemic muscles and/ or human endothelial cells expressing CD31, kinase-insert domain-containing receptor, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase in liver sinusoidal cells, whereas such endothelial cells were detected in only 3 of the 7 recipients engrafted with CD34+TEK- cells.This result has important implications in cell therapy using CB cells for treating hematopoietic disorders and vascular diseases.
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Wada, M., Ebihara, Y., Ma, F. et al. Tunica Interna Endothelial Cell Kinase Expression and Hematopoietic and Angiogenic Potentials in Cord Blood CD34+ Cells. Int J Hematol 77, 245–252 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02983781
- NOD/SCID-repopulating cells