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Biotechnology - Surgery

Pericardial Patch Angioplasty Heals via an Ephrin-B2 and CD34 Positive Cell Mediated Mechanism
Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Author: Xin Li et al.

by Xin Li, Caroline Jadlowiec, Yuanyuan Guo, Clinton D. Protack, Kenneth R. Ziegler, Wei Lv, Chenzi Yang, Chang Shu, Alan Dardik


Pericardial patches are commonly used in vascular surgery to close arteriotomies. The mechanism of early healing after patch implantation is still not well defined. We used a rat aortic patch model to assess pericardial patch healing and examined Ephrin-B2, a marker of arterial identity, expression within the post-implantation patch. We also determined whether endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) are associated with early patch healing in the arterial environment.


Wistar rats (200–250 grams) underwent infrarenal aortic arteriotomy and then closure via bovine or porcine pericardial patch angioplasty. Control groups included subcutaneously implanted patches. Patches were harvested at 0–30 days and analyzed by histology, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and Western blot as well as quantitative PCR.


Prior to implantation, pericardial patches are largely composed of collagen and are acellular. Following arterial implantation, increasing numbers of CD68-positive cells as well as Ephrin-B2 and CD34 dual-positive cells are found within both bovine and porcine pericardial patches, whereas the infiltrating cells are negative for vWF and a-actin. Porcine patches have a luminal monolayer of cells at day 7, compared to bovine patches that have fewer luminal cells. Subcutaneously implanted patches do not attract Ephrin-B2/CD34-positive cells. By day 30, both bovine and porcine pericardial patches develop a neointima that contains Ephrin-B2, CD34, and VEGFR2-positive cells.


Both CD68-positive and Ephrin-B2 and CD34 dual-positive cells infiltrate the pericardial patch early after implantation. Arteriotomy closure via pericardial patch angioplasty shows patch adaptation to the arterial environment that may involve a foreign body response as well as localization of EPC. Arterial remodeling of pericardial patches support endothelialization and may represent a paradigm of healing of scaffolds used for tissue engineering.