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Whiteley J.,Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute | Bielecki R.,Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute | Li M.,Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute | Chua S.,Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute | And 7 more authors.
Stem Cell Reviews and Reports | Year: 2014

Peripheral vascular disease affects ~20 % of the population over 50 years of age and is a complication of type 2 diabetes. Cell therapy studies revealed that cells from older or diabetic donors have a reduced capacity to induce tissue repair compared to healthy and younger cells. This fact greatly impedes the use of autologous cells for treatment. Umbilical cord blood CD34+ cells are a source of angiogenic cells but unlike bone marrow CD34+ angiogenic cells, achieving clinically significant cell numbers has been difficult without in vitro expansion. We report here that culturing CD34+/CD45+ blood cells from frozen umbilical cord blood units in a medium supplemented with FGF4, SCF and FLT3-ligand produced a population of cells that remain CD34+/CD45+ but have an increased capacity for tissue healing. The cultured CD34+ cells were compared directly to non-cultured CD34+ cells in a mouse model of ischemia. Cultured CD34+ cells demonstrated strong paracrine signaling as well as the capacity to differentiate into endothelial cells, smooth muscle and striated muscle. We observed an improvement in blood flow and a significant reduction in foot necrosis. A second study was completed to assess the safety of the cells. No adverse effects were associated with the injection of the cultured cells. Our method described here for culturing umbilical cord blood cells resulted in cells with a strong paracrine effect that induces substantial tissue repair in a murine model of hind limb ischemia and evidence of engraftment and differentiation of the cultured cells into new vasculature and muscle. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Ward M.R.,Terrence Donnelly Vascular Biology Laboratories | Ward M.R.,University of Toronto | Thompson K.A.,Terrence Donnelly Vascular Biology Laboratories | Isaac K.,Terrence Donnelly Vascular Biology Laboratories | And 5 more authors.
Molecular Therapy | Year: 2011

Circulating angiogenic cells (CACs), represent a potential new therapeutic tool for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, but their regenerative function is impaired in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and cardiac risk factors. The objective of this study is to assess the effect of lentiviral overexpression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) on the activity of CACs from patients with CAD and cardiac risk factors. In vitro and in vivo assays were employed to evaluate the regenerative capacity of the cells compared to CACs derived from healthy volunteers. Lentiviral eNOS transduction of cells from CAD patients significantly improved chemotactic migration compared with sham transduction, and increased the ability of CACs to induce angiogenic tube formation when cocultured with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) on Matrigel. In addition, eNOS transduction restored the ability of patient-derived CACs to enhance neovascularization and improve ischemic hind limb perfusion, approaching the efficacy of cells from healthy donors. These data indicate that CAC dysfunction seen in high-risk patients can be partially reversed by eNOS overexpression, suggesting that ex vivo gene delivery may improve the efficacy of autologous cell therapy for cardiovascular disease. © The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy.

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