Development of a xeno- free autologous culture system for endothelial progenitor cells derived from human umbilical cord blood.
Moon SH, Kim SM, Park SJ, Kim H, Bae D, Choi YS, Chung HM. Development of a xeno- free autologous culture system for endothelial progenitor cells derived from human umbilical cord blood. PLoS One. 2013 Sep 248(9):e75224.
Despite promising preclinical outcomes in animal models, a number of challenges remain for human clinical use. In particular, expanding a large number of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in vitro in the absence of animal-derived products is the most critical hurdle remaining to be overcome to ensure the safety and efficiency of human therapy. To develop in vitro culture conditions for EPCs derived from human cord blood (hCB-EPCs), we isolated extracts (UCE) and collagen (UC-collagen) from umbilical cord tissue to replace their animal-derived counterparts. UC-collagen and UCE efficiently supported the attachment and proliferation of hCB-EPCs in a manner comparable to that of animal-derived collagen in the conventional culture system. Our developed autologous culture system maintained the typical characteristics of hCB-EPCs, as represented by the expression of EPC-associated surface markers. In addition, the therapeutic potential of hCB-EPCs was confirmed when the transplantation of hCB-EPCs cultured in this autologous culture system promoted limb salvage in a mouse model of hindlimb ischemia and was shown to contribute to attenuating muscle degeneration and fibrosis. We suggest that the umbilical cord represents a source for autologous biomaterials for the in vitro culture of hCB-EPCs. The main characteristics and therapeutic potential of hCB-EPCs were not compromised in developed autologous culture system. The absence of animal-derived products in our newly developed in vitro culture removes concerns associated with secondary contamination. Thus, we hope that this culture system accelerates the realization of therapeutic applications of autologous hCB-EPCs for human vascular diseases.