Vascular cells

Methods Enzymol. 2006;418:252-66. doi: 10.1016/S0076-6879(06)18015-5.


Embryonic stem (ES) cells are cells derived from the inner cell mass of a blastocyst stage embryo. These self-renewing multipotent cells are able to differentiate to the three embryonic germ layers, the endoderm, ectoderm, and mesoderm, and are thus able to produce virtually all cell types. The ES cell capacity to generate various cell types has been studied extensively, and exploitation of ES cell characteristics allowed the production of several differentiated cell types of multiple tissues. Moreover, the process of ES cell differentiation provides a unique opportunity to observe early embryonic developmental events that are unattainable in the embryo itself. This chapter addresses the in vitro differentiation procedure of endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells from human ES cells, with reference to similar studies performed in mouse and nonhuman primate ES cells, and provides several tools for the detailed characterization of differentiated cells.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastocyst / cytology
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cell Division
  • Collagen
  • Embryonic Development
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mesoderm / cytology
  • Mesoderm / physiology
  • Mice
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / cytology*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / physiology


  • Collagen