The prostaglandin H2 analog U-46619 improves the differentiation efficiency of human induced pluripotent stem cells into endothelial cells by activating both p38MAPK and ERK1/2 signaling pathways

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: We have shown that the differentiation of human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) into endothelial cells (ECs) is more efficient when performed with a 3-dimensional (3D) scaffold of biomaterial than in monolayers. The current study aims to further increase hiPSC-EC differentiation efficiency by deciphering the signaling pathways in 3D scaffolds. METHODS AND RESULTS: We modified our 3D protocol by using U-46619 to upregulate both p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) signaling, which increased the differentiation efficiency (as measured by CD31 expression) to as high as 89% in two established hiPSC lines. The differentiated cells expressed arteriovenous, but not lymphatic, markers; formed tubular structures and EC lumen in vitro; had significantly shorter population-doubling times than monolayer-differentiated hiPSC-ECs; and restored perfusion and vascularity in a murine hind limb ischemia model. The differentiation efficiency was also >‚ÄČ85% in three hiPSC lines that had been derived from patients with diseases or disease symptoms that have been linked to endothelial dysfunction. CONCLUSIONS: These observations demonstrate that activating both p38MAPK and ERK1/2 signaling pathways with U-46619 improves the efficiency of arteriovenous hiPSC-EC differentiation and produces cells with greater proliferative capacity.
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    Author List

  • Su L; Kong X; Lim S; Loo S; Tan S; Poh K; Dutton J; Stewart C; Cook S; Su X
  • Start Page

  • 313
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 1