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Cultivation and characterization of micro- and macrovascular endothelial cells from the human heart

Cultivation and characterization of micro- and macrovascular endothelial cells from the human heart

European Heart Journal 14 Suppl I: 74-81

In order to investigate processes, such as atherosclerosis and inflammation in vitro, it is necessary to obtain viable and pure endothelial cell cultures from human hearts. To this end, endothelial cells were isolated and cultured from the micro- and macrovasculature of human hearts obtained during heart transplantation. Isolation of capillaries after enzymatic digestion of heart muscle provided a source of microvascular endothelial cells. Contaminating non-endothelial cells were removed by a new technique: paramagnetic beads linked to the lectin ulex europaeus I (UEA-I) were used to select endothelial cells. The resulting cultures contained less than 2% of non-endothelial cells, as judged from immunological staining and fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Both types of endothelial cell displayed typical endothelial properties. They were all positive for factor VIII-related antigen and expressed the endothelial-specific adhesion molecules, CD31 and E-selectin (ELAM-1), after stimulation with cytokines. In addition, they could be labelled with Dil-Ac-LDL, contained angiotensin converting enzyme activity and secreted tissue plasminogen activator, thus demonstrating that typical endothelial functions were preserved in culture.

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Accession: 008403444

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PMID: 8293783

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