Adult bone marrow-derived cells recruited during angiogenesis comprise precursors for periendothelial vascular mural cells

Author(s): Rajantie I, Ilmonen M, Alminaite A, Ozerdem U, Alitalo K, et al.

Abstract

Bone marrow (BM)-derived cells are thought to participate in the growth of blood vessels during postnatal vascular regeneration and tumor growth, a process previously attributed to stem and precursor cells differentiating to endothelial cells. We used multichannel laser scanning confocal microscopy of whole-mounted tissues to study angiogenesis in chimeric mice created by reconstituting C57BL mice with genetically marked syngeneic BM. We show that BM-derived endothelial cells do not significantly contribute to tumor- or cytokine-induced neoangiogenesis. Instead, BM-derived periendothelial vascular mural cells were persistently detected at sites of tumor- or vascular endothelial growth factor-induced angiogenesis. Subpopulations of these cells expressed the pericyte-specific NG2 proteoglycan, or the hematopoietic markers CD11b and CD45, but did not detectably express the smooth muscle markers smooth muscle alpha-actin or desmin. Thus, the major contribution of the BM to angiogenic processes is not endothelial, but may come from progenitors for periendothelial vascular mural and hematopoietic effector cells.

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