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Imaging Med. 2012 Aug 1;4(4):477-490.

Cord blood endothelial progenitor cells as therapeutic and imaging probes.

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Cellular & Molecular Imaging Laboratory, Department of Radiology, Henry Ford Hospital, 1 Ford Place, 2F, Box 82, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


Numerous studies demonstrated that neovascularization processes associated with severe tissue ischemia commonly found in conditions such as cardiovascular disorders and tumor growth occur via angiogenic and vasculogenic mechanisms. Over the past decade, it has been demonstrated that endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) play a significant role in neo-angiogenic and neovasculogenic processes. Due to their ability to self-renew, circulate, home to the ischemic sites and differentiate into mature endothelial cells, EPCs derived from various sources hold enormous potential to be used as therapeutic agents in pro- or anti-angiogenic strategies for the treatment of ischemic and tumor conditions, respectively. However, the development of EPC-based therapies requires accompanying, noninvasive imaging protocol for in vivo tracking of transplanted cells. Hence, this review focuses on cord blood-derived EPCs and their role in neovascularization with emphasis on the potential use of EPCs as a therapeutic and imaging probe.

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