Human umbilical vein (HUV) endothelial cells were grown for 15 to 21 passages at a split ratio of 1:5 (at least 27 population doublings) on a human fibronectin (HFN) matrix in Medium 199 supplemented with fetal bovine serum (FBS) and endothelial-cell growth factor (ECGF). This system also permitted the growth of HUV endothelial cells at cell densities as low as 1.25 cells/cm2. In addition to delaying the premature senescence of HUV endothelial cells, ECGF also reduced the serum requirement for low-density HUV endothelial-cell growth; 2.5% serum and ECGF yields half-maximum growth as compared to high serum controls. Significant HUV endothelial-cell growth was also observed in medium supplemented with either ovine hypophysectomized (HYPOX) serum, plasma-derived serum (PDS), or HYPOX-PDS in the presence of ECGF, suggesting that neither the pituitary nor the platelet contributes to HUV endothelial-cell growth.

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