Vasoprotective effects of human CD34+ cells: Towards clinical applications

Thomas J. Kiernan, Barry A. Boilson, Tyra A. Witt, Allan B. Dietz, Amir Lerman, Robert D. Simari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: The development of cell-based therapeutics for humans requires preclinical testing in animal models. The use of autologous animal products fails to address the efficacy of similar products derived from humans. We used a novel immunodeficient rat carotid injury model in order to determine whether human cells could improve vascular remodelling following acute injury. Methods: Human CD34+ cells were separated from peripheral buffy coats using automatic magnetic cell separation. Carotid arterial injury was performed in male Sprague-Dawley nude rats using a 2F Fogarty balloon catheter. Freshly harvested CD34+ cells or saline alone was administered locally for 20 minutes by endoluminal instillation. Structural and functional analysis of the arteries was performed 28 days later. Results: Morphometric analysis demonstrated that human CD34+ cell delivery was associated with a significant reduction in intimal formation 4 weeks following balloon injury as compared with saline (I/M ratio 0.79 ± 0.18, and 1.71 ± 0.18 for CD34, and saline-treated vessels, respectively P < 0.05). Vasoreactivity studies showed that maximal relaxation of vessel rings from human CD34+ treated animals was significantly enhanced compared with saline-treated counterparts (74.1 ± 10.2, and 36.8 ± 12.1% relaxation for CD34+ cells and saline, respectively, P < 0.05). Conclusion: Delivery of human CD34+ cells limits neointima formation and improves arterial reactivity after vascular injury. These studies advance the concept of cell delivery to effect vascular remodeling toward a potential human cellular product.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number66
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
StatePublished - Jul 29 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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