6 Scopus citations


Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) are localized expansions of the abdominal aorta that grow slowly to rupture. AAA growth is driven by irreversible elastic matrix breakdown in the aorta wall by chronically upregulated matrix metalloproteases (MMPs). Since adult vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) poorly regenerate elastic matrix, we previously explored utility of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and SMCs derived therefrom (BM-SMCs) for this purpose. One specific differentiated phenotype (cBM-SMCs) generated on a fibronectin substrate in presence of exogenous transforming growth factor-β and platelet-derived growth factor exhibited superior elastogenicity versus other phenotypes, and usefully provided proelastogenic and antiproteolytic stimuli to aneurysmal SMCs. Since in vivo cell therapy demands large cell inoculates, these derived SMCs must be propagated in vitro while maintaining their superior elastogenic, proelastogenic, and antiproteolytic characteristics. In this work, we thus investigated the culture conditions that must be provided to this propagation phase, which ensure that the differentiated SMCs maintain their phenotype and matrix regenerative benefits. Our results indicate that our BM-SMCs retain their phenotype in long-term culture even in the absence of differentiation growth factors and fibronectin substrate, but these conditions must be continued to be provided during postdifferentiation propagation if they are to maintain their superior elastic matrix deposition, crosslinking, and fiber formation properties. Our study, however, showed that cells propagated under these conditions exhibit higher expression of MMP-2, but favorably, no expression of elastolytic MMP-9. Hence, the study outcomes provide crucial guidelines to maintain phenotypic stability of cBM-SMCs during their propagation in two-dimensional culture before their delivery to the AAA wall for therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-989
Number of pages11
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • aortic aneurysms
  • elastic matrix
  • regenerative repair
  • smooth muscle cells
  • stem cells


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