• CXCR2;
  • CXCL8;
  • outgrowth endothelial cell;
  • transwell migration assay;
  • tube formation assay;
  • vasculogenesis


OECs (outgrowth endothelial cells), also known as late-EPCs (late-endothelial progenitor cells), have a high proliferation potential in addition to in vitro tube formation capability. In ischaemic animal models, injected OECs were integrated into regenerating blood vessels and improved neovascularization. Previous reports have demonstrated the expression of CXCL8 to be up-regulated in ischaemic tissues. It has also been documented that CXCL8 stimulates the angiogenic activity of mature ECs (endothelial cells). Therefore, it has been suggested that CXCL8 plays an important role in neovascularization in ischaemic tissues. However, it is still uncertain whether CXCL8 also stimulates the angiogenic activity of OECs. This study evaluated the effects of CXCL8 on the angiogenic activity of OECs in vitro. OECs were isolated from human UCB (umbilical cord blood)-derived mononuclear cells. Phenotypes of the OECs were assessed by flow cytometry, immunostaining, and real-time RT (reverse transcription)-PCR. The effects of CXCL8 on OECs were investigated by transwell migration assay and capillary tube formation assay on Matrigel. The OEC clones isolated from UCB expressed OEC phenotypes. In addition, CXCL8 receptors (CXCR1 and CXCR2) were expressed on these OEC clones. CXCL8 significantly stimulated the transwell migration and capillary tube formation of OECs. Neutralizing antibody against CXCR2, but not CXCR1, abolished a transwell migration of OECs induced by CXCL8, suggesting the involvement of CXCL8/CXCR2 axis in transwell migration. These results demonstrate that CXCL8 stimulates the angiogenic activity of UCB-derived OECs in vitro.