Angiogenic effects and crosstalk of adipose‐derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells and their extracellular vesicles with endothelial cells

Swarna Rautiainen, Timo Laaksonen, Raili Koivuniemi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review


Adipose‐derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (ASCs) are an adult stem cell population able to self‐renew and differentiate into numerous cell lineages. ASCs provide a promising future for therapeutic angiogenesis due to their ability to promote blood vessel formation. Specifically, their ability to differentiate into endothelial cells (ECs) and pericyte‐like cells and to secrete angiogenesis‐promoting growth factors and extracellular vesicles (EVs) makes them an ideal option in cell therapy and in regenerative medicine in conditions including tissue ischemia. In recent angiogenesis research, ASCs have often been co‐cultured with an endothelial cell (EC) type in order to form mature vessel‐like networks in specific culture conditions. In this review, we introduce co‐culture systems and co‐transplantation studies between ASCs and ECs. In co‐cultures, the cells communicate via direct cell–cell contact or via paracrine signaling. Most often, ASCs are found in the perivascular niche lining the vessels, where they stabilize the vascular structures and express common pericyte surface proteins. In co‐cultures, ASCs modulate endothelial cells and induce angiogenesis by promoting tube formation, partly via secretion of EVs. In vivo co-transplantation of ASCs and ECs showed improved formation of functional vessels over a single cell type transplantation. Adipose tissue as a cell source for both mesenchymal stem cells and ECs for co‐transplantation serves as a prominent option for therapeutic angiogenesis and blood perfusion in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10890
Number of pages33
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2021
Publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • Adipose‐derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cell
  • Angiogenesis
  • Cell transplantation
  • Co‐culture
  • Co‐transplantation
  • Endothelial cell
  • Extracellular vesicle
  • Ischemia
  • Wound healing

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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