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Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2007 May-Jun;49(6):421-9.

Biologic properties of endothelial progenitor cells and their potential for cell therapy.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.


Recent studies indicate that portions of ischemic and tumor neovasculature are derived by neovasculogenesis, whereby bone marrow (BM)-derived circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) home to sites of regenerative or malignant growth and contribute to blood vessel formation. Recent data from animal models suggest that a variety of cell types, including unfractionated BM mononuclear cells and those obtained by ex vivo expansion of human peripheral blood or enriched progenitors, can function as EPCs to promote tissue vasculogenesis, regeneration, and repair when introduced in vivo. The promising preclinical results have led to several human clinical trials using BM as a potential source of EPCs in cardiac repair as well as ongoing basic research on using EPCs in tissue engineering or as cell therapy to target tumor growth.

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