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Atherosclerosis. 2005 Sep;182(1):189-91.

Arterio-venous gradient of endothelial progenitor cells across renal artery stenosis.

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Metabolic Diseases, University of Padova, School of Medicine, Via Giustiniani 2, 35128 Padova, Italy.


A role for circulating progenitor cells have been recently demonstrated in many pathological conditions. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) localize at sites of ischemia and stimulate neovasculogenesis. This small study was carried out to assess whether selective blood sampling during renal angiography could demonstrate an arterio-venous gradient of EPCs in 5 patients with renal artery stenosis. Surprisingly, we found that EPCs were more abundant in venous than in arterial blood, suggesting that the kidney subjected to chronic ischemia may become a source rather than a target of EPCs.

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