Using autopsy specimens and clonal technique, the authors showed that hematopoietic and stromal stem colony-forming units are present in human atheromatous vascular intima. Stromal colony-forming units were also detected in the mononuclear fraction of the blood of patients with hyperlipidemia and coronary stenosis, and were not found in the peripheral blood of normolipidemic volunteers. Using flow cytometry, the absence of stromal circulating colony-forming units in healthy volunteers and their presence in coronary patients was confirmed. It was thought that the presence of circulating stromal precursors with a certain phenotype and variations in their level in blood could serve as an informative noninvasive indicator of coronary stenosis.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis; Hematopoietic and stromal colony-forming units; Stem/progenitor cells.
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