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Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Jan;129(1):29-49. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2010.10.004. Epub 2010 Oct 20.

Pluripotent stem cell differentiation into vascular cells: a novel technology with promises for vascular re(generation).

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British Heart Foundation Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.


Several types of stem and progenitor cells are currently under investigation for their potential to accomplish vascular regeneration. This review focuses on embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). We will discuss the technologies allowing for their derivation, culture expansion and maintenance in a pluripotent status. Moreover, both ESCs and iPSCs can be differentiated in endothelial cells (ECs) and mural cell, including vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Here, we will describe the involvements of growth factors (vascular endothelial growth factors-VEGFs-, platet-derived growth factors-PDGFs-), Wnt and Notch signal pathways, reactive oxygen species (ROS), histone deacetylases (HDACs), and microRNAs (miRNAs) in vascular cell differentiation from pluripotent stem cells. We will additionally describe the therapeutic potential of stem cells for vascular medicine.

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