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The Role of Endothelial Progenitor Cells in Ischemic Cerebral and Heart Diseases

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Ischemic heart and cerebral diseases are complex clinical syndromes. Endothelial dysfunction caused by dysfunctional endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) is thought to play a major role in pathophysiology of both types of disease. Healthy EPCs may be able to replace the dysfunctional endothelium through endogenous repair mechanisms. EPC levels are changed in patients with ischemic cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease and EPCs may play a role in the pathophysiology of these diseases. EPCs are also a marker for preventive and therapeutic interventions. Homing of EPCs to ischemic sites is a mechanism of ischemic tissue repair, and molecules such as stromal-derived factor-1 and integrin may play a role in EPC homing in ischemic disease. Potentiation of the function and numbers of EPCs as well as combining EPCs with other pharmaceutical agents may improve the condition of ischemia patients. However, the precise role of EPCs in ischemic heart and cerebral disease and their therapeutic potential still remain to be explored. Here, we discuss the identification, mobilization, and clinical implications of EPCs in ischemic diseases.

Keywords: Endothelial progenitor cells; Ischemic heart disease; Stroke; Therapy

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: 1: Graduate Institute of Medical Science, School of Medicine, Tzu-Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan, †Neuro-Medical Scientific Center, Tzu-Chi Buddhist General Hospital, Tzu-Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan 2: Neuro-Medical Scientific Center, Tzu-Chi Buddhist General Hospital, Tzu-Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan 3: Institute of Molecular Biology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan

Publication date: 2007-03-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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