There have been intensive studies on the differentiation of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) into endothelial cells. We investigated the endothelial differentiation of placenta-derived multipotent cells (PDMCs), a population of CD34-/CD133-/Flk-1- cells. PDMCs were cultured in basal media or media containing endothelial growth factors (EGM), including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), for 3 days and then subjected to shear stress of 6 or 12 dyn/cm2 for 24 h. Culture of PDMCs in EGM under static conditions resulted in significant increases in VEGF receptor-1 (Flt-1) and receptor-2 (Flk-1) expression. Application of shear stress at 12 dyn/cm2 to these cells led to significant increases in their expression of von Willebrand Factor and platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 at both the gene and protein levels. Shear stress at 6 dyn/cm2 had lesser effects. Uptakes of acetylated low-density lipoproteins as well as formation of tube-like structures on Matrigel were significantly increased after subjecting to shear stress of 12 dyn/cm2 for 24 h. Our findings suggest that the combined use of endothelial growth factors and high shear stress is synergistic for the endothelial differentiation of PDMCs.
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