Arterial occlusive disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the developed world, which creates a significant need for effective therapies to halt disease progression. Despite success of animal and small-scale human therapeutic arteriogenesis studies, this promising concept for treating arterial occlusive disease has yielded largely disappointing results in large-scale clinical trials. One reason for this lack of successful translation is that endogenous arteriogenesis is highly dependent on a poorly understood sequence of events and interactions between bone marrow derived cells (BMCs) and vascular cells, which makes designing effective therapies difficult. We contend that the process follows a complex, ordered sequence of events with multiple, specific BMC populations recruited at specific times and locations. Here, we present the evidence suggesting roles for multiple BMC populations-from neutrophils and mast cells to progenitor cells-and propose how and where these cell populations fit within the sequence of events during arteriogenesis. Disruptions in these various BMC populations can impair the arteriogenesis process in patterns that characterize specific patient populations. We propose that an improved understanding of how arteriogenesis functions as a system can reveal individual BMC populations and functions that can be targeted for overcoming particular impairments in collateral vessel development.
© 2010 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.