Adipose derived microvascular fragments (ad-MVFs) consist of effective vascularization units able to reassemble into efficient microvascular networks. Because of their content in stem cells and related angiogenic activity, ad-MVFs represent an interesting tool for applications in regenerative medicine. Here we show that gentle dissociation of rat adipose tissue provides a mixture of ad-MVFs with a length distribution ranging from 33–955 µm that are able to maintain their original morphology. The isolated units of ad-MVFs that resulted were able to activate transcriptional switching toward angiogenesis, forming tubes, branches, and entire capillary networks when cultured in 3D collagen type-I hydrogel. The proper involvement of metalloproteases (MMP2/MMP9) and serine proteases in basal lamina and extracellular matrix ECM degradation during the angiogenesis were concurrently assessed by the evaluation of alpha-smooth muscle actin (αSMA) expression. These results suggest that collagen type-I hydrogel provides an adequate 3D environment supporting the activation of the vascularization process. As a proof of concept, we exploited 3D collagen hydrogel for the setting of ad-MVF–islet of Langerhans coculture to improve the islets vascularization. Our results suggest potential employment of the proposed in vitro system for regenerative medicine applications, such as the improving of the islet of Langerhans engraftment before transplantation.
|Numero di pagine||18|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2021|