Adventitial Sca1+ Cells Transduced with ETV2 Are Committed to the Endothelial Fate and Improve Vascular Remodeling after Injury

Alexandra Le Bras, Baoqi Yu, Shirin Issa Bhaloo, Xuechong Hong, Zhongyi Zhang, Yanhua Hu, Qingbo Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
176 Downloads (Pure)


Objective - Vascular adventitial Sca1 + (stem cell antigen-1) progenitor cells preferentially differentiate into smooth muscle cells, which contribute to vascular remodeling and neointima formation in vessel grafts. Therefore, directing the differentiation of Sca1 + cells toward the endothelial lineage could represent a new therapeutic strategy against vascular disease. Approach and Results - We thus developed a fast, reproducible protocol based on the single-gene transfer of ETV2 (ETS variant 2) to differentiate Sca1 + cells toward the endothelial fate and studied the effect of cell conversion on vascular hyperplasia in a model of endothelial injury. After ETV2 transduction, Sca1 + adventitial cells presented a significant increase in the expression of early endothelial cell genes, including VE-cadherin, Flk-1, and Tie2 at the mRNA and protein levels. ETV2 overexpression also induced the downregulation of a panel of smooth muscle cell and mesenchymal genes through epigenetic regulations, by decreasing the expression of DNA-modifying enzymes ten-eleven translocation dioxygenases. Adventitial Sca1 + cells grafted on the adventitial side of wire-injured femoral arteries increased vascular wall hyperplasia compared with control arteries with no grafted cells. Arteries seeded with ETV2-transduced cells, on the contrary, showed reduced hyperplasia compared with control. Conclusions - These data give evidence that the genetic manipulation of vascular progenitors is a promising approach to improve vascular function after endothelial injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-244
Number of pages13
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • adventitia
  • cell differentiation
  • stem cells
  • vascular diseases
  • vascular remodeling


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