The influence of heart valve leaflet matrix characteristics on the interaction between human mesenchymal stem cells and decellularized scaffolds.
Elastin is a key structural component of the extracellular matrix. Tropoelastin is the soluble precursor of elastin. In addition to providing elastic recoil to various tissues such as the aorta and lung, elastin, tropoelastin and elastin degradation products are able to influence cell function and promote cellular responses. These responses include chemotaxis, proliferation and cell adhesion. The interaction of elastin products with cells has been attributed to the elastin receptor. However, additional cell-surface receptors have also been identified. These include G protein-coupled receptors and integrins. The potential roles of these receptors in cell-elastin interactions, with particular focus on elastin formation are discussed.