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Stem Cells. 2017 Jan;35(1):106-116. doi: 10.1002/stem.2445. Epub 2016 Jul 11.

Concise Review: Perspectives and Clinical Implications of Bone Marrow and Circulating Stem Cell Defects in Diabetes.

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Department of Medicine, University of Padova, and Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine, Padova, 35128, Italy.


Diabetes mellitus is a complex systemic disease characterized by severe morbidity and excess mortality. The burden of its multiorgan complications relies on an imbalance between hyperglycemic cell damage and defective endogenous reparative mechanisms. Inflammation and abnormalities in several hematopoietic components are typically found in diabetes. The discovery that diabetes reduces circulating stem/progenitor cells and impairs their function has opened an entire new field of study where diabetology comes into contact with hematology and regenerative medicine. It is being progressively recognized that such rare circulating cell populations mirror finely regulated processes involved in hematopoiesis, immunosurveillance, and peripheral tissue homeostasis. From a clinical perspective, pauperization of circulating stem cells predicts adverse outcomes and death. Furthermore, studies in murine models and humans have identified the bone marrow (BM) as a previously neglected site of diabetic end-organ damage, characterized by microangiopathy, neuropathy, fat deposition, and inflammation. As a result, diabetes impairs the mobilization of BM stem/progenitor cells, a defect known as mobilopathy or myelokathexis, with negative consequences for physiologic hematopoiesis, immune regulation, and tissue regeneration. A better understanding of the molecular and cellular processes that govern the BM stem cell niche, cell mobilization, and kinetics in peripheral tissues may uncover new therapeutic strategies for patients with diabetes. This concise review summarizes the current knowledge on the interplay between the BM, circulating stem cells, and diabetes, and sets the stages for future developments in the field. Stem Cells 2017;35:106-116.


Diabetes; Hematopoiesis; Regeneration; Vascular disease

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