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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Sep 3;99(18):11951-6. Epub 2002 Aug 23.

VEGF increases engraftment of bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) into vasculature of newborn murine recipients.

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Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Avenue, Box 8007, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Recent evidence suggests that bone marrow-derived angioblasts or endothelial progenitor cells circulate in peripheral blood and can incorporate at sites of pathologic neovascularization or during the ovarian cycle. However, the incorporation of endothelial progenitor cells into vessels of nonischemic tissues in adult animals has not been observed. We hypothesized that the vascular microenvironment differs between newborn and adult animals, and that donor endothelial cell progenitors would engraft in rapidly growing normal tissues during the neonatal period. After nonablative administration of bone marrow cells either at birth or at 4 weeks of age, donor-derived endothelial cells were found only in the neovasculature of the newborn recipients. Both the incorporation of donor endothelial cells into the newborn neovasculature as well as tissue vascularity were significantly increased by coadministering vascular endothelial growth factor with bone marrow cells. These findings suggest that bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells can contribute to neovascularization during the newborn period and are responsive to vascular endothelial growth factor.

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