Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells to Endothelial Progenitor Cells on Laminins in Defined and Xeno-free Systems

Nguyen M.T.X., Okina E., Chai X., Tan K.H., Hovatta O., Ghosh S., Tryggvason K. Stem Cell Reports, 2016

Here, the authors developed a chemically defined, xeno-free protocol for differentiation of hESCs to endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) using LN521 as the main culture substrate. The EPCs derived are functional and expressed both progenitor and mature endothelial markers. The authors were able to generate about 95% functional EPCs defined as VEGFR2+CD34+CD31+VE-Cadherin+. RNA-sequencing analyses of hESCs, EPCs, and primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells show differentiation-related EC expression signatures, regarding basement membrane composition, cell-matrix interactions, and changes in endothelial lineage markers. Six-week continuous culturing allows the hESC derived EPSs to mature further, relative to HUVECs. These results may facilitate the production of stable ECs for the treatment of vascular diseases and in vitro cell modeling.