Author(s): Asahara T
Putative endothelial cell (EC) progenitors or angioblasts were isolated from human peripheral blood by magnetic bead selection on the basis of cell surface antigen expression. In vitro, these cells differentiated into ECs. In animal models of ischemia, heterologous, homologous, and autologous EC progenitors incorporated into sites of active angiogenesis. These findings suggest that EC progenitors may be useful for augmenting collateral vessel growth to ischemic tissues (therapeutic angiogenesis) and for delivering anti- or pro-angiogenic agents, respectively, to sites of pathologic or utilitarian angiogenesis.