Public Release: 

Researchers identify mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in human arteries

The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Media advisory: To contact senior author Jason Kovacic, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, email Rachel Zuckerman at Rachel.Zuckerman@mountsinai.org

Bottom Line: Researchers identify, in situ and in vivo, adventitial CD90+ (a protein used as a marker for a variety of stem cells) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in human arteries for the first time.

Why The Research Is Interesting: This is the first paper to show the existence of these cells in adult human vessels and provide a clear link of these cells to vascular disease.

What (Study Exposures and Outcomes): Researchers studied stem cells from adult human vessels. The research team acquired surplus specimens from patients having cardiac and vascular surgeries and applied multiple complimentary techniques to profile these vessels and their stem cells.

Results: Mesenchymal stem cells exist in the outer layer of arteries in adult humans, and appear to play a key role in mediating vascular diseases, including coronary artery disease.

  • Human adventitial CD90+ cells fulfill all criteria for an MSC population
  • The CD90+ MSC genetic signature suggests a major role in vascular disease

Study Conclusions:

"The next step is to delve more deeply into the biology of these cells, and to identify specific ways to manipulate these cells as a clinical therapeutic tool," said senior author Jason Kovacic, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

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