[Endothelial progenitor cells: new biomarkers and potential therapy in intensive care]

T Seguin, T Braun, J-P Mira
Médecine et Maladies Infectieuses 2007, 37 (6): 305-11
One of the most important breakthroughs in the field of vascular biology in the last decade was the discovery of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). These angiogenic cells dwell in bone marrow, and may be found in the general circulation spontaneously or in response to various stimuli such as ischemia, growth factor, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and drugs such as statins. There is growing evidence that EPCs can differentiate into mature endothelial cells and facilitate endothelial repair and angiogenesis in vivo. In recent years, consistent publications have shown that EPCs provide both diagnostic and prognostic information with respect to cardiovascular diseases, acute lung injury, and sepsis. Activation of EPCs from the bone marrow or injection of these cells may be used as a therapeutic option for the treatment of ischemic cardiovascular diseases.

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