Author(s): Yoder MC
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Abstract Endothelial cells provide the dynamic lining of blood vessels throughout the body and provide many tissue-specific functions, in addition to providing a nonthrombogenic surface for blood cells and conduit for oxygen and nutrient delivery. As might be expected, some endothelial cells are injured or become senescent and are sloughed into the bloodstream, and most circulating endothelial cells display evidence of undergoing apoptosis or necrosis. However, there are rare viable circulating endothelial cells that display properties consistent with those of a progenitor cell for the endothelial lineage. This article reviews historical and current literature to present some evidence that the endothelial lining of blood vessels may serve as a source for rare endothelial colony-forming cells that display clonal proliferative potential, self-renewal, and in vivo vessel forming ability. The article also discusses the current gaps in our knowledge to prove whether the colony-forming cells are in fact derived from vascular endothelium.
This article was published in Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol
and referenced in Translational Medicine