Influence of mesenchymal stem cells on the response of endothelial cells to laminar flow and shear stress

Minsung Hong, Hansu Jo, Randell F. Ankeny, Casey J. Holliday-Ankeny, Hyengseok Kim, Gilson Khang, Robert M. Nerem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The interactions between endothelial cells (ECs) and smooth muscle cells (SMCs) in a complex hemodynamic environment play an important role in the control of blood vessel function. Since autologous SMCs are not readily available for the tissue engineering of a blood vessel substitute, a substitute for SMCs, such as human adult bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), is needed. The objective of this study was to use a three-dimensional coculture model of the blood vessel wall, comprised of ECs and MSCs, to determine how the presence of MSCs affects EC function. Two vascular coculture models with an EC monolayer were created using type I collagen. All models were exposed to steady laminar flow with a shear stress of 15 dyn/cm2 for up to 48 h. ECs in both the MSC and SMC coculture models expressed up-regulated EC-specific markers compared to the EC-only control model. The most dramatic difference observed between the two coculture models was in the experiments assessing monocyte adhesion. Here, fewer monocytes bound after laminar shear compared to static conditions; however, the number of bound monocytes was much lower for the EC-MSC coculture model than the EC-SMC coculture model for both static and shear conditions. These results suggest the feasibility of developing a tissue-engineered blood vessel substitute using MSCs as a substitute for SMCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-299
Number of pages11
JournalCells Tissues Organs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Coculture
  • Endothelial cells
  • Laminar shear stress
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Smooth muscle cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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