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Circ Res. 2006 Feb 17;98(3):e20-5. Epub 2006 Jan 26.

CD34-/CD133+/VEGFR-2+ endothelial progenitor cell subpopulation with potent vasoregenerative capacities.

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  • 1Department for Internal Medicine III, University Hospital of the Saarland, Germany.

Abstract

Our goal was to identify functionally important subpopulations within the heterogenous group of endothelial progenitor cells (EPC). Fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis of CD133+ progenitor cells revealed the presence of CD34+ and CD34- subpopulations. CD34-/133+ progenitors differentiate into CD34+/133+ EPC, adhere more potently than these in response to SDF-1, and rapidly home to sites of limb ischemia in human volunteers. In human coronary atherectomy samples, fewer CD34-/133+ than CD34+/133+ EPC are present in stable plaques, whereas cell numbers increase with a reversion of the ratio in unstable lesions. In CD34-/133+ EPC-injected nude mice, more transplanted cells coexpressing endothelial markers home to carotid artery lesion endothelium than in CD34+/133+-injected mice. In the former, lesions were smaller and reendothelialization higher than in the latter. We identified a new CD34-/133+ EPC subpopulation, which is apparently a precursor of "classical" CD34+/133+ EPC, and functionally more potent than these with respect to homing and vascular repair.

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