Role of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells in Designing An In Vitro Vascular-Muscle Cellular Model Using Adipose-Derived Stem Cells (Pages: 19-28)

Abbas Heidari-Moghadam , Vahid Bayati *, Mahmoud Orazizadeh , Mohammad Rashno ,


Researchers have been interested in the creation of a favorable cellular model for use in vascular-muscle tissue engineering. The main objective of this study is to determine the myogenic effects of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) on adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) to achieve an in-vitro vascular-muscle cellular model.


The present experimental research was conducted on two primary groups, namely ADSCs monoculture and ADSCs/HUVECs Co-culture that were divided into control, horse serum (HS) and HS/VEGF differentiation subgroups. HUVECs were Co-cultured by ADSC in a ratio of 1:1. The myogenic differentiation was evaluated using the Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunofluorescence in different experimental groups. The interaction between ADSCs and HUVECs as well as the role of ADSCs conditional medium was investigated for endothelial tube formation assay.


Immunofluorescence staining indicated that Tropomyosin was positive in ADSCs and ADSCs & HUVECs Co-culture groups on HS and HS/VEGF culture medium. Furthermore, the MyHC2 gene expression significantly increased in HS and HS/VEGF groups in comparison with the control group (P<0.001). More importantly, there was a significant difference in the mRNA expression of this gene between ADSCs and ADSCs & HUVECs Co-culture groups on HS/VEGF culture medium (P<0.05). Current data revealed that Co-culture of ADSCs and HUVECs could develop endothelial network formation in VEGF-loaded group. Also, ADSCs conditional medium improved the viability and formation of the endothelial tube in the HS and VEGF groups, respectively.


It was concluded that ADSCs/HUVECs Co-culture and dual effects of VEGF can lead to the formation of differentiated myoblasts in proximity to endothelial network formations. These in-vitro-cellular models could be potentially used in vascular-muscle tissue engineering implanted into organ defects where muscle tissue and vascular regeneration were required.