Clinical impact of circulating CD34-positive cells on bone regeneration and healing

Tissue Eng Part B Rev. 2014 Jun;20(3):190-9. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEB.2013.0511. Epub 2014 Feb 10.


Failures in fracture healing after conventional autologous and allogenic bone grafting are mainly due to poor vascularization. To meet the clinical demand, recent attentions in the regeneration and repair of bone have been focused on the use of stem cells such as bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and circulating skeletal stem cells. Circulating stem cells are currently paid a lot of attention due to their ease of clinical setting and high potential for osteogenesis and angiogenesis. In this report, we focus on the first proof-of-principle experiments demonstrating the collaborative characteristics of circulating CD34(+) cells, known as endothelial and hematopoietic progenitor cell-rich population, which are capable to differentiate into both endothelial cells and osteoblasts. Transplantation of circulating CD34(+) cells provides a favorable environment for fracture healing via angiogenesis/vasculogenesis and osteogenesis, finally leading to functional recovery from fracture. Based on a series of basic studies, we performed a phase 1/2 clinical trial of autologous CD34(+) cell transplantation in patients with tibial or femoral nonunions and reported the safety and efficacy of this novel therapy. In this review, the current concepts and strategies in circulating CD34(+) cell-based therapy and its potential applications for bone repair will be highlighted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD34 / blood*
  • Bone Regeneration / physiology
  • Endothelial Progenitor Cells / cytology*
  • Endothelial Progenitor Cells / physiology
  • Fracture Healing / physiology*
  • Fractures, Bone / pathology*
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery
  • Fractures, Bone / therapy*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / physiology
  • Osteogenesis / physiology
  • Tissue Engineering / methods


  • Antigens, CD34