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J Biomed Biotechnol. 2012;2012:597439. doi: 10.1155/2012/597439. Epub 2012 Feb 2.

Human blood-vessel-derived stem cells for tissue repair and regeneration.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA.


Multipotent stem/progenitor cells with similar developmental potentials have been independently identified from diverse human tissue/organ cultures. The increasing recognition of the vascular/perivascular origin of mesenchymal precursors suggested blood vessels being a systemic source of adult stem/progenitor cells. Our group and other laboratories recently isolated multiple stem/progenitor cell subsets from blood vessels of adult human tissues. Each of the three structural layers of blood vessels: intima, media, and adventitia has been found to include at least one precursor population, that is, myogenic endothelial cells (MECs), pericytes, and adventitial cells (ACs), respectively. MECs and pericytes efficiently regenerate myofibers in injured and dystrophic skeletal muscles as well as improve cardiac function after myocardial infarction. The applications of ACs in vascular remodeling and angiogenesis/vasculogenesis have been examined. Our recent finding that MECs and pericytes can be purified from cryogenically banked human primary muscle cell culture further indicates their potential applications in personalized regenerative medicine.

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