Functional Recapitulation of Smooth Muscle Cells Via Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells From Human Aortic Smooth Muscle Cells
T. H Lee,
S. H Song,
K. L Kim,
J. Y Yi,
G. H Shin,
J. Y Kim,
Y. M Han,
S. H Lee,
S. H Shim
Rationale: Generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells has been intensively studied by a variety of reprogramming methods, but the molecular and functional properties of the cells differentiated from iPS cells have not been well characterized.
Objective: To address this issue, we generated iPS cells from human aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (HASMCs) using lentiviral transduction of defined transcription factors and differentiated these iPS cells back into smooth muscle cells (SMCs).
Methods and Results: Established iPS cells were shown to possess properties equivalent to human embryonic stem cells, in terms of the cell surface markers, global mRNA and microRNA expression patterns, epigenetic status of OCT4, REX1, and NANOG promoters, and in vitro/in vivo pluripotency. The cells were differentiated into SMCs to enable a direct, comparative analysis with HASMCs, from which the iPS cells originated. We observed that iPS cell–derived SMCs were very similar to parental HASMCs in gene expression patterns, epigenetic modifications of pluripotency-related genes, and in vitro functional properties. However, the iPS cells still expressed a significant amount of lentiviral transgenes (OCT4 and LIN28) because of partial gene silencing.
Conclusions: Our study reports, for the first time, the generation of iPS cells from HASMCs and their differentiation into SMCs. Moreover, a parallel comparative analysis of human iPS cell–derived SMCs and parental HASMCs revealed that iPS-derived cells possessed representative molecular and in vitro functional characteristics of parental HASMCs, suggesting that iPS cells hold great promise as an autologous cell source for patient-specific cell therapy.