3D reconstitution of nerve–blood vessel networks using skeletal muscle-derived multipotent stem cell sheet pellets

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To cover the large tissue deficits associated with significant loss of function following surgery, a 3D gel-patch-like nerve–vascular reconstitution system was developed using the skeletal muscle-derived multipotent stem cell (Sk-MSC) sheet pellet. Materials & methods: The Sk-MSC sheet pellet was prepared from GFP transgenic mice by the collagenase extraction and 7 days expansion cell culture, and transplanted into a severe muscle damage model with large disruptions to muscle fibers, blood vessels and peripheral nerves. Results: At 4 weeks after transplantation, engrafted cells contributed to nerve–vascular regeneration associated with cellular differentiation into Schwann cells, perineurial/endoneurial cells, vascular endothelial cells and pericytes. However, skeletal myogenic differentiation was scarcely observed. Paracrine effects regarding donor cells/tissues could also be expected, because of the active expression of neurogenic and vasculogenic factor mRNAs in the sheet pellet. Conclusion: These results indicate that the vigorous skeletal myogenic potential of Sk-MSCs was clearly reduced in the sheet pellet preparation and this method may be a useful adjuvant for nerve–vascular regeneration in various tissue engineering applications.

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