Although our knowledge is still in its infancy, the biology of circulating EPCs has begun to show some therapeutic promise. In early animal experiments, the injection of human bone marrow-derived EPCs improved revascularization in rodent hind limb ischemia models. Local injection of EPC or CD34+ cells into the ischemic myocardium of rats has also been shown to improve the recovery of cardiac function after the injury. The use of EPCs in revascularization has progressed to clinical trials. The delivery of autologous bone marrow cells was shown to improve revascularization in patients with ischemic limbs in the Therapeutic Angiogenesis using Cell Transplantation Study. Several clinical trials have also shown benefit to the local delivery of EPCs in the treatment of myocardial infarction.
advances in this area are likely to pay significant clinical dividends in the future.
Angiogenesis: The growth of new blood vessels from preexisting vas-culature.
Endothelial progenitor cell: A precursor cell with the potential to develop into a mature, functional endothelial cell.
Vasculogenesis: The formation of new blood vessels from the aggregation of endothelial progenitors.
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