Journal for Biophysical Chemistry

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Open Access

Adhesion, proliferation, and gene expression profile of human umbilical vein endothelial cells cultured on bilayered polyelectrolyte coatings composed of glycosaminoglycans

  • Boon Chin Heng1Email author,
  • Paula Porto Bezerra1,
  • Qing Rui Meng1,
  • Desmond Wai-Loon Chin2,
  • Li Buay Koh1,
  • Hai Li1,
  • Hua Zhang1,
  • Peter Rainer Preiser2,
  • Freddy Yin-Chiang Boey1 and
  • Subbu S. Venkatraman1

Received: 13 May 2010

Accepted: 3 August 2010

Published: 14 December 2010


This study characterized human umbilical vein endothelial cell HUVEC adhesion, proliferation, and gene expression on bilayered polyelectrolyte coatings composed of an outermost layer of glycosaminoglycans hyaluronan, heparin, or chondroitin sulfate, with an underlying layer of poly-l-lysine or chitosan. The proportion of cells that adhered to the various polyelectrolyte coatings after 1 and 2 h incubations was quantified by the WST-8 assay. Interchanging poly-l-lysine with chitosan resulted in significant differences in cellular adhesion to the outermost glycosaminoglycan layer after 1 h, but these differences became insignificant after 2 h. The proliferation of HUVEC on the various bilayered polyelectrolyte coatings over 10 days was characterized using the WST-8 assay. Regardless of whether the underlying layer was poly-l-lysine or chitosan, HUVEC proliferation on the hyaluronan outermost layer was significantly less than on heparin or chondroitin sulfate. Additionally, it was observed that there was more proliferation with poly-l-lysine as the underlying layer, compared to chitosan. Subsequently, real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to analyze the expression of seven genes related to adhesion, migration, and endothelial function (VWF, VEGFR, VEGFA, endoglin, integrin-α5, ICAM1, and ICAM2 by HUVEC cultured on the various bilayered polyelectrolyte coatings for 3 days. With poly-l-lysine as the underlying layer, biologically significant differences greater than twofold in the expression of VWF, VEGFR, VEGFA, endoglin, and ICAM1 were observed among the three glycosaminoglycans. With chitosan as the underlying layer, all three glycosaminoglycans displayed biologically significant differences in the expression of VWF and VEGFR compared to the chitosan control. CT-HA displayed the highest level of expression of VWF, whereas expression levels of VEGFR were almost similar among the three glycosaminoglycans.