The promise of EPC-based therapies on vascular dysfunction in diabetes

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Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common metabolic diseases in the world and the vascular dysfunction represents a challenging clinical problem. In diabetes, endothelial cells (ECs), lining the inner wall of blood vessels, do not function properly and contribute to impaired vascular function. Circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), the precursor of mature EC, actively participate in endothelial repair, by moving to the vascular injury site to form mature EC and new blood vessels. Knowing that the therapeutic interventions can improve only a part of EC dysfunction in diabetes, this review addresses recent findings on the use of EPCs for cell therapy. The strategies proposed in review are based on in vivo and in vitro studies and, thus, their physiological relevance is confirmed. EPC therapy shows great promise for the prevention and cure of diabetes-induced vascular dysfunction.

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