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Endothelial Progenitor Cells: An Insight Into Their Therapeutic Role In Cardiovascular Disease & Biomarker Potential

914 words - 4 pages

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in both the developed and developing world (Sen). In Australia, it affects one in six people (3.7million) and killing one Australian every 12 minutes (National Heart Foundation of Australia). Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have recently been demonstrated to have increasing therapeutic potential in cardiovascular diseases such as ischemia and coronary artery disease (Werling, Thorpe & Zhao 2013) (Fadini). EPCs also have great potential as biomarkers in cardiovascular disease, and are currently being used to predict cardiovascular events for clinical applications (Sen et al. 2011).

EPCs have promising results in the therapy of ...view middle of the document...

EPCs have been used as a diagnostic marker for cardiovascular risk progression (Balaji), with a significant decrease in EPC number and function as the disease worsens due to the defective endothelial repair and compensatory angiogenesis (Donahue) (Fadini). EPCs also serve a clinical advantage as they correlate directly with endothelial function, whereas other biomarkers only correlate end-tissue damage (Sen). It has also been found that EPCs affect the recovery of blood flow after ischemia and atherosclerosis, which indicates that they are not innocent markers but plays an active role in maintaining a healthy CV system (Fadini et al. 2012). Comparably, the presence of circulating CD34+ EPCs have been found to result in a better prognosis, hence they can be interpreted as protective and that if these EPCs are lacking, future cardiovascular events may be predicted (Craenenbroeck).

Future direction of research in the field of cardiovascular disease would benefit from a revised understanding of accurate EPC biology and improvement in standardization of experimental methods in order to enhance their therapeutic potential (Shantsila et al. 2007). Regarding the ongoing research on the use of EPCs as a biomarker, there are no markers currently available to specifically identify EPCs exclusively (Brandl et al. 2014), so there is still a need for the identification of a unique cell surface marker for distinguishing EPCs from a heterogeneous population of cells, as well as the need for a specific definition and classification of EPCs (Yoder 2012, Appleby et al. 2011). Nonetheless, EPCs have been proven to be a competent biomarker and cell candidate for inducing therapeutic angiogenesis (Fadini, Losordo & Dimmeler 2012), however, further studies are required to elucidate how to use these cells as an effective treatment (Donahue et al. 2013).

Works Cited

Werling, NJ, Thorpe, R & Zhao, Y 2013, ‘A Systematic Approach to the Establishment and Characterization of Endothelial Progenitor Cells...

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