Valve endothelial cells (VECs) play an important role in regulating the function of the underlying interstitial cells (VICs). However, the regulatory effects VECs from each side of the valve on the production of ECM proteins by VICs have not been studied. This study aims to determine the regulatory effects of VECs isolated from the aortic (aVECs) and ventricular (vVECs) surfaces of the aortic valve on the production of collagen, glycosaminoglycan (GAGs) and elastin by VICs. Side-specific VECs were co-cultured with VICs using Transwell® inserts and the effects on extracellular matrix production by VICs were investigated by quantifying the amount of secreted collagen and sulphate GAGs by VICs as well as examining gene expressions of collagen, GAGs and elastin components by VICs. Collagen production by VICs was significantly increased by co-culturing with aVEC and vVECs to 154.38 ± 13.71% (p=0.041) and 196.35 ± 16.59% (p=0.008), respectively, of the control (VIC culture without VECs). Furthermore, vVECs significantly enhanced production of sulphate GAGs by VICs to 217.18 ± 32.9% (p=0.008) above control whereas aVECs showed an increase of 150.08 ± 18.0%, which was non-significance. There was no significant difference between sulphate GAGs release in response to vVECs and aVECs. Only fibrillin 1, a component of elastin, gene expression was increased by co-culturing VICs with aVEC, 2.07 ± 0.34 (p=0.008), and vVECs, 2.13 ± 0.31 (p=0.03) fold increase above control. In contrast, media collected over a 48 hour period from aVEC or vVEC cultures and subsequently incubated with VICs (in the absence of VECs) showed no induction on the ECM production by VICs. In conclusion, aVECs and vVECs induce the ECM production and expression by releasing labile molecules which are degradable or lose their activities with time. Further experiments are necessary to identify the mediators that produce these effects and to determine how their release is modulated by the different flow patterns experienced by aVECs and vVECs. This study further highlights the complex interaction and communication between different cell types present in the valve cusps.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Accepted: 03 June 2012
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error