King's College London

Research portal

Single-cell RNA-sequencing and Metabolomics Analyses Reveal the Contribution of Perivascular Adipose Tissue Stem Cells to Vascular Remodeling: Perivascular stem cells and vascular remodeling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Wenduo Gu, Witold Norbert Nowak, Yao Xie, Alexandra Le Bras, Yanhua Hu, Jiacheng Deng, Shirin Issa Bhaloo, Yao Lu, Hong Yuan, Alka Saxena, Tokuwa Kanno, Andrew James Mason, Jozef Dulak, Jingjing Cai, Qingbo Xu

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2049–2066
Number of pages18
JournalArteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
Issue number10
Early online date25 Jul 2019
Accepted/In press1 Jul 2019
E-pub ahead of print25 Jul 2019
PublishedOct 2019


King's Authors


OBJECTIVE: Perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) plays a vital role in maintaining vascular homeostasis. However, most studies ascribed the function of PVAT in vascular remodeling to adipokines secreted by the perivascular adipocytes. Whether mesenchymal stem cells exist in PVAT and play a role in vascular regeneration remain unknown. Approach and Results: Single-cell RNA-sequencing allowed direct visualization of the heterogeneous PVAT-derived mesenchymal stem cells (PV-ADSCs) at a high resolution and revealed 2 distinct subpopulations, among which one featured signaling pathways crucial for smooth muscle differentiation. Pseudotime analysis of cultured PV-ADSCs unraveled their smooth muscle differentiation trajectory. Transplantation of cultured PV-ADSCs in mouse vein graft model suggested the contribution of PV-ADSCs to vascular remodeling through smooth muscle differentiation. Mechanistically, treatment with TGF-β1 (transforming growth factor β1) and transfection of microRNA (miR)-378a-3p mimics induced a similar metabolic reprogramming of PV-ADSCs, including upregulated mitochondrial potential and altered lipid levels, such as increased cholesterol and promoted smooth muscle differentiation. CONCLUSIONS: Single-cell RNA-sequencing allows direct visualization of PV-ADSC heterogeneity at a single-cell level and uncovers 2 subpopulations with distinct signature genes and signaling pathways. The function of PVAT in vascular regeneration is partly attributed to PV-ADSCs and their differentiation towards smooth muscle lineage. Mechanistic study presents miR-378a-3p which is a potent regulator of metabolic reprogramming as a potential therapeutic target for vascular regeneration.

Download statistics

No data available

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454