An in vitro model of cell migration: Evaluation of vascular endothelial cell migration

K. Jozaki, P. T. Marucha, A. W. Despins, D. L. Kreutzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In vivo vascular endothelial cell (VEC) migration is thought to play a central role in the development of new capillaries as well as the resurfacing of large vessels. Recently, we have developed an in vitro VEC migration assay system based on the ability of VEC to migrate off of tissue culture microcarrier beads. For these studies, bovine pulmonary artery VEC were grown to confluence on Cytodex 3 microcarrier beads (MCB). Next, the confluent VEC covered microcarrier beads were pipetted into 4-cm2 wells of a tissue culture plate and incubated at 37°C 5% CO2. At various time intervals, the movement of the VEC off of the MCB onto the tissue culture surface was evaluated microscopically. Using this assay, we have studied the effect of endothelial cell growth supplement and various matrices (i.e., fibronectin, gelatin, and Matrigel) on VEC migration. These studies demonstrated that: (i) gelatin had no effect on normal or mitomycin C-pretreated VEC migration; (ii) fibronectin had no effect on normal VEC migration, but stimulated the relative migration of mitomycin pretreated VEC; and (iii) Matrigel significantly suppressed both normal and mitomycin C-pretreated VEC migration. Endothelial cell growth supplement (ECGS) stimulated both normal and mitomycin C-pretreated VEC migration on fibronectin at concentrations of 10 μg/ml ECGS. Pretreatment with ECGS had no effect of normal or mitomycin C VEC migration on gelatin. Finally, ECGS stimulated a statistically significant increase in the migration of normal and mitomycin C-pretreated VEC migration on Matrigel. Thus, these data clearly demonstrate the ability of the MCB assay to detect both enhancements and suppressions of VEC migration in vitro, and therefore this new method should prove a simple and rapid method for the quantitation of VEC migration in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical Biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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