In vitro Evaluation of ASCs and HUVECs Co-cultures in 3D Biodegradable Hydrogels on Neurite Outgrowth and Vascular Organization.
Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020;8:489
Authors: Rocha LA, Gomes ED, Afonso JL, Granja S, Baltazar F, Silva NA, Shoichet MS, Sousa RA, Learmonth DA, Salgado AJ
Vascular disruption following spinal cord injury (SCI) decisively contributes to the poor functional recovery prognosis facing patients with the condition. Using a previously developed gellan gum hydrogel to which the adhesion motif GRGDS was grafted (GG-GRGDS), this work aimed to understand the ability of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) to impact vascular organization of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), and how this in turn affects neurite outgrowth of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) explants. Our data shows that culturing these cells together lead to a synergistic effect as showed by increased stimulation of neuritogenesis on DRG. Importantly, HUVECs were only able to assemble into vascular-like structures when cultured in the presence of ASCs, which shows the capacity of these cells in reorganizing the vascular milieu. Analysis of selected neuroregulatory molecules showed that the co-culture upregulated the secretion of several neurotrophic factors. On the other hand, ASCs, and ASCs + HUVECs presented a similar profile regarding the presence of angiotrophic molecules herein analyzed. Finally, the implantation of GG-GRGDS hydrogels encapsulating ASCs in the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) lead to increases in vascular recruitment toward the hydrogels in comparison to GG-GRGDS alone. This indicates that the combination of ASCs with GG-GRGDS hydrogels could promote re-vascularization in trauma-related injuries in the central nervous system and thus control disease progression and induce functional recovery.
PMID: 32612997 [PubMed]