We have found a novel adhesion receptor on the human endothelial cell for the peptide sequence Arg-Glu-Asp-Val (REDV), which is present in the III-CS domain of human plasma fibronectin, with a dissociation constant of 2.2 × 10−6 M and 5.8 × 106 sites/cell. When a synthetic peptide containing this sequence was immobilized on otherwise cell nonadhesive substrates, endothelial cells attached and spread but fibroblasts, vascular smooth muscle cells, and platelets did not. Endothelial mono-layers on REDV were nonthrombogenic: endothelial cells attached and spread upon other receptor-binding domains of fibronectin and laminin, but with lesser degrees of specificity or with a loss of nonthrombogenicity. This approach may provide a basis for a tissue engineered vascular graft where endothelial cell attachment is desired, but not the attachment of other blood vessel wall cells and blood platelets.
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