Cord blood-endothelial colony forming cells are immunotolerated and participate at post-ischemic angiogenesis in an original dorsal chamber immunocompetent mouse model

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Abstract

Background: Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Restoring blood supply to ischemic tissues is an essential goal for the successful treatment of these diseases. Growth factor or gene therapy efficacy remains controversial, but stem cell transplantation is emerging as an interesting approach to stimulate angiogenesis. Among the different stem cell populations, cord blood-endothelial progenitor cells (CB-EPCs) and more particularly cord blood-endothelial progenitor cell-derived endothelial colony forming cells (CB-ECFCs) have a great proliferative potential without exhibiting signs of senescence. Even if it was already described that CB-ECFCs were able to restore blood perfusion in hind-limb ischemia in an immunodeficient mouse model, until now, the immunogenic potential of allogenic CB-ECFCs remains controversial. Therefore, our objectives were to evaluate the immune tolerance potency of CB-ECFCs and their capacity to restore a functional vascular network under ischemic condition in immunocompetent mice. Methods: In vitro, the expression and secretion of immunoregulatory markers (HLA-G, IL-10, and TGF-β1) were evaluated on CB-ECFCs. Moreover, CB-ECFCs were co-cultured with activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) for 6 days. PBMC proliferation was evaluated by [3H]-thymidine incorporation on the last 18 h. In vivo, CB-ECFCs were administered in the spleen and muscle of immunocompetent mice. Tissues were collected at day 14 after surgery. Finally, CB-ECFCs were injected intradermally in C57BL/6JRj mice close to ischemic macrovessel induced by thermal cauterization. Mice recovered until day 5 and were imaged, twice a week until day 30. Results: Firstly, we demonstrated that CB-ECFCs expressed HLA-G, IL-10, and TGF-β1 and secreted IL-10 and TGF-β1 and that they could display immunosuppressive properties in vitro. Secondly, we showed that CB-ECFCs could be tolerated until 14 days in immunocompetent mice. Thirdly, we revealed in an original ischemic model of dorsal chamber that CB-ECFCs were integrated in a new functional vascular network. Conclusion: These results open up new perspectives about using CB-ECFCs as an allogeneic cell therapy product and gives new impulse to the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

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Proust, R., Ponsen, A. C., Rouffiac, V., Schenowitz, C., Montespan, F., Ser-Le Roux, K., … Peltzer, J. (2020). Cord blood-endothelial colony forming cells are immunotolerated and participate at post-ischemic angiogenesis in an original dorsal chamber immunocompetent mouse model. Stem Cell Research and Therapy, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13287-020-01687-7

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