Endothelial Progenitor Cell Secretome and Oligovascular Repair in a Mouse Model of Prolonged Cerebral Hypoperfusion

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Background and Purpose—

Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have been extensively investigated as a therapeutic approach for repairing the vascular system in cerebrovascular diseases. Beyond vascular regeneration per se, EPCs may also release factors that affect the entire neurovascular unit. Here, we aim to study the effects of the EPC secretome on oligovascular remodeling in a mouse model of white matter injury after prolonged cerebral hypoperfusion.


The secretome of mouse EPCs was analyzed with a proteome array. In vitro, the effects of the EPC secretome and its factor angiogenin were assessed on primary oligodendrocyte precursor cells and mature human cerebral microvascular endothelial cells (hCMED/D3). In vivo, mice were subjected to permanent bilateral common carotid artery stenosis, then treated with EPC secretome at 24 hours and at 1 week, and cognitive outcome was evaluated with the Y maze test together with oligodendrocyte precursor cell proliferation/differentiation and vascular density in white matter at 4 weeks.


Multiple growth factors, cytokines, and proteases were identified in the EPC secretome, including angiogenin. In vitro, the EPC secretome significantly enhanced endothelial and oligodendrocyte precursor cell proliferation and potentiated oligodendrocyte precursor cell maturation. Angiogenin was proved to be a key factor since pharmacological blockade of angiogenin signaling negated the positive effects of the EPC secretome. In vivo, treatment with the EPC secretome increased vascular density, myelin, and mature oligodendrocytes in white matter and rescued cognitive function in the mouse hypoperfusion model.


Factors secreted by EPCs may ameliorate white matter damage in the brain by boosting oligovascular remodeling.

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