Transforming Growth Factor Beta 1 and Hyaluronan Oligomers Synergistically Enhance Elastin Matrix Regeneration by Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells

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Tissue Engineering - Part A


Elastin is a vital structural and regulatory matrix protein that plays an important role in conferring elasticity to blood vessel wall. Previous tissue engineering approaches to regenerate elastin in situ or within tissue engineering constructs are curtailed by innate poor elastin synthesis potential by adult vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs). Currently, we seek to develop cellular cues to enhance tropoelastin synthesis and improve elastin matrix yield, stability, and ultrastructure. Our earlier studies attest to the elastogenic utility of hyaluronan (HA)-based cellular cues, though their effects are fragment size dependent and dose dependent, with HA oligomers deemed most elastogenic. We presently show transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) and HA oligomers, when provided concurrently, to synergistically and dramatically improve elastin matrix regeneration by adult vascular SMCs. Together, these cues suppress SMC proliferation, enhance synthesis of tropoelastin (8-fold) and matrix elastin protein (5.5-fold), and also improve matrix elastin yield (45% of total elastin vs. 10% for nonadditive controls), possibly by more efficient recruitment of tropoelastin for crosslinking. The density of desmosine crosslinks within the elastin matrix was itself attenuated, although the cues together modestly increased production and activity of the elastin crosslinking enzyme, lysyl oxidase. TGF-β1 and HA oligomers together induced much greater assembly of mature elastin fibers than they did separately, and did not induce matrix calcification. The present outcomes might be great utility to therapeutic regeneration of elastin matrix networks in situ within elastin-compromised vessels, and within tissue-engineered vascular graft replacements. © Copyright 2009, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2009.