Impact of endothelial cells on 3D cultured smooth muscle cells in a biomimetic hydrogel
Chew, Sing Yian
Chan-Park, Mary B.
Date of Issue2012
School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
For the development of vascular tissue engineering, the impact of endothelial cells (ECs) on smooth muscle cell (SMC) spreading, proliferation, and differentiation is explored in the current study using a coculture model. In this coculture model, SMCs were encapsulated in a biomimetic hydrogel based on methacrylated dextran-graft-lysine (Dex-MA-LA) and methacrylamide-modified gelatin (Gel-MA), and exposed to a monolayer of ECs. With EC coculture, SMC proliferation in 3D hydrogel was promoted at initial period, and the formation of denser cellular networks was enhanced. ECs dynamically modulated SMC phenotype by promoting a more contractile SMC phenotype initially (on day 2), indicated by the upregulated expression of contractile genes α-actin, calponin, smooth muscle-myosin heavy chain (SM-MHC), and smoothelin; however, the onset of maximum expressions was delayed by ECs. Full differentiation of SMCs was not obtained even with EC coculture. Higher level of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB and latent transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 were detected in medium of coculture. These biochemical cues together with the physical cue of tensional force within cellular networks may be responsible for the dynamic modulation of SMC phenotype in coculture. Synthesis of elastin was promoted by ECs at transcriptional level. The formation of denser cellular networks and synthesis of elastin suggest that coculture with ECs is a potential method to construct functional vessel media layer in vitro.
ACS applied materials & interfaces
© 2012 American Chemical Society.