4 years ago

Deriving vascular smooth muscle cells from mesenchymal stromal cells: Evolving differentiation strategies and current understanding of their mechanisms

Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) play essential roles in regulating blood vessel form and function. Regeneration of functional vascular smooth muscle tissue to repair vascular diseases is an area of intense research in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. For functional vascular smooth muscle tissue regeneration to become a practical therapy over the next decade, the field will need to have access to VSMC sources that are effective, robust and safe. While pluripotent stem cells hold good future promise to this end, more immediate translation is expected to come from approaches that generate functional VSMCs from adult sources of multipotent adipose-derived and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (ASCs and BMSCs). The research to this end is extensive and is dominated by studies relating to classical biochemical signalling molecules used to induce differentiation of ASCs and BMSCs. However, prolonged use of the biochemical induction factors is costly and can cause potential endotoxin contamination in the culture. Over recent years several non-traditional differentiation approaches have been devised to mimic defined aspects of the native micro-environment in which VSMCs reside to contribute to the differentiation of VSMC-like cells from ASCs and BMSCs. In this review, the promises and limitations of several non-traditional culture approaches (e.g., co-culture, biomechanical, and biomaterial stimuli) targeting VSMC differentiation are discussed. The extensive crosstalk between the underlying signalling cascades are delineated and put into a translational context. It is expected that this review will not only provide significant insight into VSMC differentiation strategies for vascular smooth muscle tissue engineering applications, but will also highlight the fundamental importance of engineering the cellular microenvironment on multiple scales (with consideration of different combinatorial pathways) in order to direct cell differentiation fate and obtain cells of a desired and stable phenotype. These strategies may ultimately be applied to different sources of stem cells in the future for a range of biomaterial and tissue engineering disciplines.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0142961217305380

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