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Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2012 Jun 1;17:2327-49.

Endothelial progenitor cells in atherosclerosis.

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Department of Pharmacology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA.


Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are involved in the maintenance of endothelial homoeostasis and in the process of new vessel formation. Experimental and clinical studies have shown that atherosclerosis is associated with reduced numbers and dysfunction of EPCs; and that medications alone are able to partially reverse the impairment of EPCs in patients with atherosclerosis. Therefore, novel EPC-based therapies may provide enhancement in restoring EPCs' population and improvement of vascular function. Here, for a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying EPC impairment in atherosclerosis, we provide a comprehensive overview on EPC characteristics, phenotypes, and the signaling pathways underlying EPC impairment in atherosclerosis.

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