Enhancement of angiogenesis is solicited in wound repair and regeneration. Mesenchymal stromal cells derived from the placenta (P-MSCs) have an inherent angiogenic potential. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in turn, specifically the omega-3 (N-3) are essential for growth and development. They are also recommended as dietary supplements during pregnancy. We therefore hypothesized that addition of N-3 PUFAs in P-MSC culture media may enhance their angiogenic potential. Hence, we treated P-MSCs with omega-3 (N-3) fatty acids –Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) at different concentrations and tested their angiogenic potential. We saw an upregulation of both bFGF and VEGFA. We also found enhanced in vitro tube formation ability of P-MSCs treated with DHA: EPA. We then looked at the influence of the conditioned medium (CM) collected from P-MSCs exposed to DHA: EPA on the key effector cells –HUVECs (Human Umbilical Vein derived endothelial cells and their functionality was further confirmed on chick yolk sac membrane. We found that the CM of P-MSCs exposed to DHA: EPA could enhance angiogenesis in both cases. These result were finally validated in an in vivo matrigel plug assay which revealed enhanced migration and vessel formation in CM treated with DHA: EPA. Our data thus reveals for the first time that supplementation with lower concentration of PUFA enhances the angiogenic potential of P-MSCs making them suitable for chronic wound healing applications.
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