Acquisition of a blood supply is fundamental for extensive tumor growth. We recently described vascular heterogeneity in tumours derived from cell clones of a human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) strain (hMSC-TERT20) immortalized by retroviral vector mediated human telomerase (hTERT) gene expression. Histological analysis showed that cells of the most vascularized tumorigenic clone, -BD11 had a pericyte-like alpha smooth muscle actin (ASMA+) and CD146+ positive phenotype. Upon serum withdrawal in culture, -BD11 cells formed cord-like structures mimicking capillary morphogenesis. In contrast, cells of the poorly tumorigenic clone, -BC8 did not stain for ASMA, tumours were less vascularized and serum withdrawal in culture led to cell death. By exploring the heterogeneity in hMSC-TERT20 clones we aimed to understand molecular mechanisms by which mesenchymal stem cells may promote neovascularization.
Burns, J. S., Kristiansen, M., Kristensen, L. P., Larsen, K. H., Nielsen, M. O., Christiansen, H., Nehlin, J., Andersen, J. S., & Kassem, M. (2011). Decellularized matrix from tumorigenic human mesenchymal stem cells promotes neovascularization with galectin-1 dependent endothelial interaction. P L o S One, 6(7), e21888. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0021888