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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2009 Oct;11(10):2517-33. doi: 10.1089/ARS.2009.2582.

Novel role of NADPH oxidase in angiogenesis and stem/progenitor cell function.

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Department of Pharmacology, Center for Lung and Vascular Biology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.


Neovascularization is involved in normal development and wound repair as well as ischemic heart disease and peripheral artery disease. Both angiogenesis and vasculogenesis [de novo new vessel formation through mobilization of stem/progenitor cells from bone marrow (BM) and their homing to the ischemic sites] contribute to the formation of new blood vessels after tissue ischemia. Angiogenesis is dependent on cell proliferation, migration, and capillary tube formation in endothelial cells (ECs). Stem/progenitor cells have been used for cell-based therapy to promote revascularization after peripheral or myocardial ischemia. Excess amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) are involved in senescence and apoptosis of ECs and stem/progenitor cells, causing defective neovascularization. ROS at low levels function as signaling molecules to mediate cell proliferation, migration, differentiation, and gene expression. NADPH oxidase is one of the major sources of ROS in ECs and stem/progenitor cells, and is activated by various growth factors, cytokines, hypoxia, and ischemia. ROS derived from NADPH oxidase play an important role in redox signaling linked to angiogenesis ECs, as well as stem/progenitor cell mobilization, homing, and differentiation, thereby promoting neovascularization. Understanding these mechanisms may provide insight into NADPH oxidase and its mediators as potential therapeutic targets for ischemic heart and limb disease.

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