Perivascular delivery of encapsulated mesenchymal stem cells improves postischemic angiogenesis via paracrine activation of VEGF-A

Rajesh Katare, Federica Riu, Jonathan Rowlinson, Andrew Lewis, Rachel Holden, Marco Meloni, Carlotta Reni, Christine Wallrapp, Costanza Emanueli, Paolo Madeddu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE - : To test the therapeutic activity of perivascular transplantation of encapsulated human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in an immunocompetent mouse model of limb ischemia. APPROACH AND RESULTS - : CD1 mice underwent unilateral limb ischemia, followed by randomized treatment with vehicle, alginate microbeads (MBs), MB-encapsulated MSCs (MB-MSCs), or MB-MSCs engineered with glucagon-like peptide-1. Treatments were applied directly in the perivascular space around the femoral artery. Laser Doppler and fluorescent microsphere assessment of blood flow showed a marked improvement of perfusion in the MB-MSCs and MB-MSCs engineered with glucagon-like peptide-1 groups, which was associated with increased foot salvage particularly in MB-MSCs engineered with glucagon-like peptide-1-treated mice. Histological analysis revealed increased capillary and arteriole density in limb muscles of the 2 MSC groups. Furthermore, MB-MSCs engineered with glucagon-like peptide-1 and, to a lesser extent, MB-MSC treatment increased functional arterial collaterals alongside the femoral artery occlusion. Analysis of expressional changes in ischemic muscles showed that MB-MSC transplantation activates a proangiogenic signaling pathway centered on vascular endothelial growth factor A. In contrast, intramuscular MB-MSCs caused inflammatory reaction, but no improvement of reparative vascularization. Importantly, nonencapsulated MSCs were ineffective either by intramuscular or perivascular route. CONCLUSIONS - : Perivascular delivery of encapsulated MSCs helps postischemic reperfusion. This novel biological bypass method might be useful in patients not amenable to conventional revascularization approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1872-1880
Number of pages9
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • Collateral circulation
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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