1. Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine and Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Institute of Health Sciences, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, Republic of Korea
2. Department of Theriogenology and Biotechnology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, Republic of Korea
3. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Institute of Health Sciences, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine, Jinju, Republic of Korea
4. College of Pharmacy and Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, Republic of Korea
Angiogenesis and vascularization are essential for the growth and survival of most tissues. Engineered bone tissue requires an active blood vessel network for survival and integration with mature host tissue. Angiogenesis also has an effect on cell growth and differentiation in vitro. However, the effect of angiogenic factors on osteoprogenitor cell differentiation remains unclear. We studied the effects of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) on osteogenic differentiation of dental follicle-derived stem cells (DFSCs) in vitro by co-culturing DFSCs and HUVECs. Cell viability, based on metabolic activity and DNA content, was highest for co-cultures with a DFSC/HUVEC ratio of 50:50 in a 1:1 mixture of mesenchymal stem cell growth medium and endothelial cell growth medium. Osteoblastic and angiogenic phenotypes were enhanced in co-cultures with a DFSC/HUVEC ratio of 50:50 compared with DFSC monocultures. Increased expression of angiogenic phenotypes and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels were observed over time in both 50:50 DFSC/HUVEC co-cultures and DFSC monocultures during culture period. Our results showed that increased angiogenic activity in DFSC/HUVEC co-cultures may stimulate osteoblast maturation of DFSCs. Therefore, the secretion of angiogenic factors from HUVECs may play a role in the osteogenic differentiation of DFSCs.
Keywords: Dental follicle-derived stem cells, human umbilical vein endothelial cells, co-culture, osteogenic differentiation