Extensive characterization and comparison of endothelial cells derived from dermis and adipose tissue: Potential use in tissue engineering

H.N. Monsuur, E.M. Weijers, F.B. Niessen, A. Gefen, P. Koolwijk, S. Gibbs, L.J. van den Broek

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Tissue-engineered constructs need to become quickly vascularized in order to ensure graft take. One way of achieving this is to incorporate endothelial cells (EC) into the construct. The adipose tissue stromal vascular fraction (adipose-SVF) might provide an alternative source for endothelial cells as adipose tissue can easily be obtained by liposuction. Since adipose-EC are now gaining more interest in tissue engineering, we aimed to extensively characterize endothelial cells from adipose tissue (adipose-EC) and compare them with endothelial cells from dermis (dermal-EC). The amount of endothelial cells before purification varied between 4-16% of the total stromal population. After MACS selection for CD31 positive cells, a >99% pure population of endothelial cells was obtained within two weeks of culture. Adipose- and dermal-EC expressed the typical endothelial markers PECAM-1, ICAM-1, Endoglin, VE-cadherin and VEGFR2 to a similar extent, with 80-99% of the cell population staining positive. With the exception of CXCR4, which was expressed on 29% of endothelial cells, all other chemokine receptors (CXCR1, 2, 3, and CCR2) were expressed on less than 5% of the endothelial cell populations. Adipose-EC proliferated similar to dermal-EC, but responded less to the mitogens bFGF and VEGF. A similar migration rate was found for both adipose-EC and dermal-EC in response to bFGF. Sprouting of adipose-EC and dermal-EC was induced by bFGF and VEGF in a 3D fibrin matrix. After stimulation of adipose-EC and dermal-EC with TNF-α an increased secretion was seen for PDGF-BB, but not uPA, PAI-1 or Angiopoietin-2. Furthermore, secretion of cytokines and chemokines (IL-6, CCL2, CCL5, CCL20, CXCL1, CXCL8 and CXCL10) was also upregulated by both adipose-and dermal-EC. The similar characteristics of adipose-EC compared to their dermalderived counterpart make them particularly interesting for skin tissue engineering. In conclusion, we show here that adipose tissue provides for an excellent source of endothelial cells for tissue engineering purposes, since they are readily available, and easily isolated and amplified.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0167056
Number of pages17
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


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