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Engineered blood vessel networks connect to host vasculature via wrapping-and-tapping anastomosis.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Blood
1528-0020
Publisher
American Society of Hematology
Publication Date
Volume
118
Issue
17
Pages
4740–4749
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1182/blood-2011-02-338426
PMID: 21835951
Source
Medline

Abstract

Rapid blood perfusion is critical for postimplantation survival of thick, prevascularized bioartificial tissues. Yet the mechanism by which implanted vascular networks inosculate, or anastomose, with the host vasculature has been unknown, making it difficult to develop optimized strategies for facilitating perfusion. Here we show that implanted vascular networks anastomose with host vessels through a previously unidentified process of "wrapping and tapping" between the engrafted endothelial cells (ECs) and the host vasculature. At the host-implant interface, implanted ECs first wrap around nearby host vessels and then cause basement membrane and pericyte reorganization and localized displacement of the underlying host endothelium. In this way, the implanted ECs replace segments of host vessels to divert blood flow to the developing implanted vascular network. The process is facilitated by high levels of matrix metalloproteinase-14 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 expressed by the wrapping ECs. These findings open the door to new strategies for improving perfusion of tissue grafts and may have implications for other physiologic and pathologic processes involving postnatal vasculogenesis.

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