Vasculogenesis and Its Cellular Therapeutic Applications

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Abstract

Vasculogenesis was originally defined by Risau in 1997 [Nature 386: 671-674] as the de novo formation of vessels from endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), so-called angioblasts. Initially, this process was believed to be related only to embryonic life; however, further studies reported vasculogenesis to occur also in adult tissues. This overview presents the current knowledge about the origin, differentiation and significance of EPCs that have been observed in various diseases, tumors, and reparative processes. We also summarize the knowledge of how to activate these cells for therapeutic purposes and the outcomes of the therapies.

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