Objective-To determine whether CX(3)CR1(+) bone marrow cells have the capacity for smooth muscle cell (SMC) differentiation.
Methods and Results-CX(3)CR1(+) and CX(3)CR1(-) cells were isolated from marrow of CX3CR1 transgenic mice and cultured in SMC differentiation media. Phenotypic and functional analyses showed only CX(3)CR1(+) bone marrow cells exhibit colony cell outgrowth with SMC-specific protein expression, calcium signaling, and contraction responses similar to mature SMC.
Conclusion-CX(3)CR1 marks a bone marrow cells population that enriches for progenitors with capacity to differentiate in vitro into SMC-like cells. (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2010;30:533-535.)