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World J Stem Cells. 2014 Jul 26;6(3):355-66. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v6.i3.355.

Endothelial progenitor cells in cardiovascular diseases.

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Poay Sian Sabrina Lee, Kian Keong Poh, Cardiac Department, National University Heart Centre, National University Health System, Singapore and Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119228, Singapore.


Endothelial dysfunction has been associated with the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. Adult endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are derived from hematopoietic stem cells and are capable of forming new blood vessels through a process of vasculogenesis. There are studies which report correlations between circulating EPCs and cardiovascular risk factors. There are also studies on how pharmacotherapies may influence levels of circulating EPCs. In this review, we discuss the potential role of endothelial progenitor cells as both diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. In addition, we look at the interaction between cardiovascular pharmacotherapies and endothelial progenitor cells. We also discuss how EPCs can be used directly and indirectly as a therapeutic agent. Finally, we evaluate the challenges facing EPC research and how these may be overcome.


Cardiovascular diseases; Diabetes; Dyslipidemia; Endothelial progenitor cells; Hypertension; Stents; Therapy

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