Tracing behavior of endothelial cells promotes vascular network formation

Noriko Yasuda, Hidekazu Sekine, Ryoma Bise, Teruo Okano, Tatsuya Shimizu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The in vitro formation of network structures derived from endothelial cells in grafts before transplantation contributes to earlier engraftment. In a previous study, endothelial cells migrated to form a net-shaped structure in co-culture. However, the specific network formation behavior of endothelial cells during migration remains unclear. In this study, we demonstrated the tracing behavior and cell cycle of endothelial cells using Fucci-labeled (Fluorescent Ubiquitination-based Cell Cycle Indicator) endothelial cells. Here, we observed the co-culture of Fucci-labeled human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) together with normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDFs) using time-lapse imaging and analyzed by multicellular concurrent tracking. In the G0/G1 period, HUVECs migrate faster than in the S/G2/M period, because G0/G1 is the mobile phase and S/G2/M is the proliferation phase in the cell cycle. When HUVECs are co-cultured, they tend to move randomly until they find existing tracks that they then follow to form clusters. Extracellular matrix (ECM) staining showed that collagen IV, laminin and thrombospondin deposited in accordance with endothelial cell networks. Therefore the HUVECs may migrate on the secreted ECM and exhibit tracing behavior, where the HUVECs migrate toward each other. These results suggested that ECM and a cell phase contributed to form a network by accelerating cell migration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
JournalMicrovascular Research
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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