Article

Cell Biology and Toxicology

, 23:223

First online:

Endothelial progenitor cells: Characterization, in vitro expansion, and prospects for autologous cell therapy

  • D. M. SmadjaAffiliated withINSERM Unité 765Service d’Hématologie Biologique AUniversité Paris Descartes
  • , A. CornetAffiliated withINSERM Unité 765Service d’Hématologie Biologique AUniversité Paris Descartes
  • , J. EmmerichAffiliated withINSERM Unité 765Service de Médecine Vasculaire, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou (AP-HP)Université Paris Descartes
  • , M. AiachAffiliated withINSERM Unité 765Service d’Hématologie Biologique AUniversité Paris Descartes
  • , P. GaussemAffiliated withINSERM Unité 765Service d’Hématologie Biologique AUniversité Paris DescartesINSERM U 765, Service d’Hématologie Biologique A, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou Email author 

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Abstract

Injection of hematopoietic stem cells or endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) expanded ex vivo has been shown to augment neovascularization in adult patients, but the precise origin and identity of the cell population responsible for these clinical benefits are controversial. The limited quantity of EPCs in the circulation has been the main obstacle to clinical trials. Several authors have therefore attempted to expand these cells ex vivo in order to obtain a homogeneous cell therapy product. One possible means of expanding EPCs ex vivo is to activate the thrombin receptor PAR-1 with the specific peptide SFLLRN. Indeed, PAR-1 activation promotes cell proliferation and C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) dependent migration and differentiation, with an overall angiogenic effect. This review summarizes the results and rationale of clinical trials of angiogenic therapy, the nature of EPCs, the different methods of ex vivo expansion, and current methods of quantification.

Keywords

endothelial progenitor cells clinical trials expansion thrombin receptor PAR-1 SFLLRN peptide cell therapy