Endothelial progenitor cells--an evolving story

Microvasc Res. 2010 May;79(3):162-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mvr.2009.12.004. Epub 2010 Jan 4.


The first description of endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) in 1997 led rapidly to substantial changes in our understanding of angiogenesis, and within 5 years to the first clinical studies in humans using bone marrow derived EPC to enhance coronary neovascularisation and cardiac function after myocardial ischemia. However, to improve the success of this therapy a clearer understanding of the biology of EPC is needed. This article summarises recent data indicating that most EPC are not, in fact, endothelial progenitors but can be better described as angiogenic monocytes, and explores the implications this has for their future therapeutic use.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Adult Stem Cells / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / physiology
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology*
  • Endothelial Cells / transplantation
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / physiology
  • Myocardial Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Myocardial Ischemia / surgery
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Paracrine Communication
  • Regeneration
  • Regenerative Medicine / trends*
  • Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Stem Cells / physiology*