Efficient differentiation of CD14+ monocytic cells into endothelial cells on degradable biomaterials

Guido Krenning, Patricia Y.W. Dankers, Danijela Jovanovic, Marja J.A. van Luyn, Martin C. Harmsen

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Vascular tissue engineering aims at creating self-renewing, anti-thrombogenic, vascular grafts, which can be based on endothelial progenitor cells (EPC). EPC harbor essential features such as plasticity and longevity. Unfortunately, the archetype CD34+ EPC is rare in peripheral blood. Monocytes, i.e. CD14+ cells also have the ability to differentiate into endothelial-like cells and are by far more abundant in peripheral blood than are CD34+ EPC. Therefore, CD14+ cells would seem appropriate candidates for tissue engineering of small-diameter blood vessels. In this study, we investigated the differentiation of CD14+ cells on three biodegradable biomaterials under angiogenic conditions. Morphological analyses, gene transcript analyses, endothelial marker (i.e. VE-Cadherin and eNOS) and macrophage marker (i.e. CD68 and CD163) expression analyses, revealed that a small fraction (15-25%) of cultured CD14+ cells differentiated into macrophages after 21 days of culture. The majority of CD14+ cells (>75%) differentiated into endothelial-like cells (ELC) on all biomaterials used. The expression of endothelial markers was similar to their expression on HUVEC. Since CD14+ cells are present in high numbers in adult peripheral blood, easy to isolate and because they easily differentiate into ELC on biomaterials, we conclude that CD14+ cells are a suitable cell source for progenitor-based vascular tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1470-1479
Number of pages10
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007


  • Cell culture
  • Endothelial cell
  • Monotype
  • Polycaprolactone
  • Polyurethane
  • RGD peptide


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