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Nat Clin Pract Cardiovasc Med. 2008 Sep;5(9):571-9. doi: 10.1038/ncpcardio1214. Epub 2008 Apr 15.

Therapeutic targeting of the stem cell niche in experimental hindlimb ischemia.

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  • 1Department of General Pathology, 1st School of Medicine, II University of Naples, Naples, Italy.



The custom microenvironment 'vascular niche' is a potential therapeutic target for several pathophysiological conditions. Osteoblasts regulate the hematopoietic stem cell niche, and activation of the parathyroid hormone (PTH) receptor can increase the number of cells mobilized into the bloodstream.


C57Bl/6 mice were randomly assigned treatment with granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), PTH, G-CSF plus PTH or saline. All mice underwent hindlimb ischemia. Blood flow was measured by laser Doppler imaging. Indices of capillary activity were determined by electron microscopy in muscle tissue. CD34(+) and Ki67(+) cells were detected and evaluated by immunofluorescence, apoptosis by TUNEL, surface antigen and endothelial progenitor cells by fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis, and vascular endothelial growth factor-164 and angiopoietin-1 expression by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Frozen bone marrow sections were stained for antigen-specific B cells and fibronectin and analyzed by confocal laser scanning microscopy.


Following mobilization induced by G-CSF treatment, mice also treated with PTH showed increases in blood flow, capillary density, nitrite/nitrate release, angiogenic factors and circulating progenitor cells, as well as reduced apoptosis, fibrosis, oxidative stress and inflammation in ischemic muscles. Furthermore, hematopoietic antigen-specific B cells in the bone marrow were also increased by G-CSF alone and in combination with PTH.


PTH might increase the efficiency of hematopoietic stem-cell-based therapy in a recognized model of peripheral ischemia. Our translational experimental therapeutic targeting of the vascular niche points to novel clinical targets for the hematopoietic stem-cell treatment of ischemic vascular diseases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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