Author(s): Fadini GP, Losordo D, Dimmeler S
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Abstract Diverse subsets of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are used for the treatment of ischemic diseases in clinical trials, and circulating EPCs levels are considered as biomarkers for coronary and peripheral artery disease. However, despite significant steps forward in defining their potential for both therapeutic and diagnostic purposes, further progress has been mired by unresolved questions around the definition and the mechanism of action of EPCs. Diverse culturing methods and detection of various combinations of different surface antigens were used to enrich and identify EPCs. These attempts were particularly challenged by the close relationship and overlapping markers of the endothelial and hematopoietic lineages. This article will critically review the most commonly used protocols to define EPCs by culture assays or by fluorescence-activated cell sorter in the context of their therapeutic or diagnostic use. We also delineate new research avenues to move forward our knowledge on EPC biology.
This article was published in Circ Res
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy