Preparation and Culturing of Human Primary Vascular Cells

  • Finnbogi R. Thormodsson
  • Ingvar H. Olafsson
  • Dadi Th. Vilhjalmsson
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1779)


Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) results from amyloid accumulation within arteries of the cerebral cortex and leptomeninges. This condition is age-related, especially prevalent in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and the main feature of certain hereditary disorders (i.e., HCHWA-I). The vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) appear to play a vital role in the development of CAA, which makes them well suited as an experimental model to study the disease and screen for possible remedies. We describe two different methods for isolating and culturing human VSMCs: First, using the human umbilical cord as an easy source of robust cells, and secondly, using brain tissue that provides the proper cerebral VSMCs, but is more problematic to work with. The umbilical cord also provides human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVEC), useful primary cells for vascular research. Finally, the maintenance, preservation, and characterization of the isolated vascular cells are described.

Key words

Amyloid Cell culture Human Cystatin C Human umbilical vascular edothelial cells (HUVEC) Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) Umbilical cord Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) HCHWA-I Immunostaining Leptomeninges Cerebral blood vessels 



We would like to thank The Icelandic Research Council and Heilavernd (The Icelandic HCHWA-I Foundation) for their support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Finnbogi R. Thormodsson
    • 1
  • Ingvar H. Olafsson
    • 2
  • Dadi Th. Vilhjalmsson
    • 3
  1. 1.Innovation Center IcelandReykjavikIceland
  2. 2.Landspitali—The National University HospitalReykjavikIceland
  3. 3.Skåne University HospitalMalmöSweden

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