Next-Generation Stem Cell Therapy

induced vascular progenitor cells (iVPC)

Induced vascular progenitor cells (iVPCs) can be generated from somatic cells through direct conversion technology. iVPCs have self-renewal capacity and expand stably. iVPCs can differentiate into functional endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells that form the blood vessel. Transplantation of iVPCs enhances blood flow recovery in an ischemic model.

Park et al., ATVB (2020)

Characteristics and Functionality
Generation of self-renewing iVPCs

iVPCs are self-renewing cells that can maintain proliferation ability after multiple passages. Ball-shaped iVPCs co-expressed CD144 and αSMA which are typical markers for vascular progenitor cells.

Functionality of iVPCs

iVPC-derived endothelial cells are CD31-positive, LDL-uptake cells and the cells form tube construction which indicates the angiogenesis functionality. iVPC-derived smooth muscle cells(SMCs) formed a spindle-like structure, the typical morphology of SMCs. These cells expressed calponin which is the marker of SMCs.

Therapeutic effect of iVPCs on ischemic vascular disease

When iVPCs are transplanted into mice with hindlimb ischemia, blood flow was recovered in iVPC-injected group. iVPC-injected groups showed a significantly higher density of αSMA-positive vessels compared to control.