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In Situ Blood Vessel Regeneration Using SP (Substance P) and SDF (Stromal Cell-Derived Factor)-1{alpha} Peptide Eluting Vascular GraftsHighlights [Basic Sciences]

Objective—The objective of this study was to develop small-diameter vascular grafts capable of eluting SDF (stromal cell–derived factor)-1α–derived peptide and SP (substance P) for in situ vascular regeneration.Approach and Results—Polycaprolactone (PCL)/collagen grafts containing SP or SDF-1α–derived peptide were fabricated by electrospinning. SP and SDF-1α peptide-loaded grafts recruited significantly higher numbers of mesenchymal stem cells than that of the control group. The in vivo potential of PCL/collagen, SDF-1, and SP grafts was assessed by implanting them in a rat abdominal aorta for up to 4 weeks. All grafts remained patent as observed using color Doppler and stereomicroscope. Host cells infiltrated into the graft wall and the neointima was formed in peptides-eluting grafts. The lumen of the SP grafts was covered by the endothelial cells with cobblestone-like morphology, which were elongated in the direction of the blood flow, as discerned using scanning electron microscopy. Moreover, SDF-1α and SP grafts led to the formation of a confluent endothelium as evaluated using immunofluorescence staining with von Willebrand factor antibody. SP and SDF-1α grafts also promoted smooth muscle cell regeneration, endogenous stem cell recruitment, and blood vessel formation, which was the most prominent in the SP grafts. Evaluation of inflammatory response showed that 3 groups did not significantly differ in terms of the numbers of proinflammatory macrophages, whereas SP grafts showed significantly higher numbers of proremodeling macrophages than that of the control and SDF-1α grafts.Conclusions—SDF-1α and SP grafts can be potential candidates for in situ vascular regeneration and are worthy for future investigations.

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