Stem cells hold great potential as cell-based therapies to promote vascularization and tissue regeneration. However, the use of stem cells alone to promote angiogenesis remains limited because of insufficient expression of angiogenic factors and low cell viability after transplantation. Here, we have developed vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) high-expressing, transiently modified stem cells for the purposes of promoting angiogenesis. Nonviral, biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles were developed to deliver hVEGF gene to human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and human embryonic stem cell-derived cells (hESdCs). Treated stem cells demonstrated markedly enhanced hVEGF production, cell viability, and engraftment into target tissues. S.c. implantation of scaffolds seeded with VEGF-expressing stem cells (hMSCs and hESdCs) led to 2- to 4-fold-higher vessel densities 2 weeks after implantation, compared with control cells or cells transfected with VEGF by using Lipofectamine 2000, a leading commercial reagent. Four weeks after intramuscular injection into mouse ischemic hindlimbs, genetically modified hMSCs substantially enhanced angiogenesis and limb salvage while reducing muscle degeneration and tissue fibrosis. These results indicate that stem cells engineered with biodegradable polymer nanoparticles may be therapeutic tools for vascularizing tissue constructs and treating ischemic disease.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Feb 23 2010|
- Biodegradable polymers
- Nonviral gene delivery
ASJC Scopus subject areas