Journal of cellular and molecular medicine

VEGF165 induces differentiation of hair follicle stem cells into endothelial cells and plays a role in in vivo angiogenesis.

PMID 28244687


Within the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family of five subtypes, VEGF165 secreted by endothelial cells has been identified to be the most active and widely distributed factor that plays a vital role in courses of angiogenesis, vascularization and mesenchymal cell differentiation. Hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) can be harvested from the bulge region of the outer root sheath of the hair follicle and are adult stem cells that have multi-directional differentiation potential. Although the research on differentiation of stem cells (such as fat stem cells and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells) to the endothelial cells has been extensive, but the various mechanisms and functional forms are unclear. In particular, study on HFSCs' directional differentiation into vascular endothelial cells using VEGF165 has not been reported. In this study, VEGF165 was used as induction factor to induce the differentiation from HFSCs into vascular endothelial cells, and the results showed that Notch signalling pathway might affect the differentiation efficiency of vascular endothelial cells. In addition, the in vivo transplantation experiment provided that HFSCs could promote angiogenesis, and the main function is to accelerate host-derived neovascularization. Therefore, HFSCs could be considered as an ideal cell source for vascular tissue engineering and cell transplantation in the treatment of ischaemic diseases.