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Differentiation of human iPSCs into VSMCs and generation of VSMC-derived calcifying vascular cells

: Trillhaase, A.; Haferkamp, U.; Rangnau, A.; Märtens, M.; Schmidt, B.; Trilck, M.; Seibler, P.; Aherrahrou, R.; Erdmann, J.; Aherrahrou, Z.

Fulltext ()

Stem cell research 31 (2018), pp.62-70
ISSN: 1873-5061
ISSN: 1876-7753
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IME ()

Vascular calcification displays a major cause of death worldwide, which involve mainly vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Since 2007, there are increasing numbers of protocols to obtain different cell types from human induced-pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), however a protocol for calcification is missing. Few protocols exist today for the differentiation of iPSCs towards VSMCs and none are known for their calcification. Here we present a protocol for the calcification of iPSC-derived VSMCs. We successfully differentiated iPSCs into VSMCs based on a modified protocol. Calcification in VSMCs is induced by a commercial StemXVivo™ osteogenic medium. Calcification was verified using Calcein and Alizarin Red S staining or Calcium assays, and molecular analyses showed enhanced expression of calcification-associated genes. The presented method could help to study genetic risk variants, using the CRISPR/Cas technology through the introduction of Knockouts or Knockins of risk variants. Finally, this method can be applied for drug screening.