Current Stem Cell Research & Therapy

Anthony Atala  
Wake Forest University School of Medicine,
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston Salem, NC 27157


Endothelial Progenitor Cells (EPCs) and Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) in Bone Healing

Author(s): Nikolaos C. Keramaris, Sarandos Kaptanis, Helen Lucy Moss, Mattia Loppini, Spyridon Pneumaticos, Nicola Maffulli.


Fracture healing is a complex physiological process. Local vascularity at the site of the fracture has been established as one of the most important factors influencing the healing process, and lack of vascularity has been implicated in atrophic non unions. Existing research has primarily involved utilising Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) to augment bone healing but there remains much scope to explore the role of stem cells in the vascularisation process. Endothelial Progenitor Cells (EPCs) and other Endothelial Cellular populations (ECs) could constitute a valid alternative to MSCs. This systematic review is examining the importance of co-implantation of MSCs and EPCs/ECs for bone healing.

A literature search was performed using the Cochrane Library, OVID Medline, OVID EMBASE and Google Scholar, searching for combinations of the terms ‘EPCs’, ‘Endothelial progenitor cells’, ‘angiogenesis’, ‘fracture’, ‘bone’ and ‘healing’. Finally 18 articles that fulfilled our criteria were included in this review.

ECs could be of value for the treatment of critical size bone defects as they are known to be capable of forming ectopic, vascularised bone. The co-implantation of ECs with MSCs is more intriguing when we take into account the vast array of complex reciprocal interactions between ECs and MSCs.

Keywords: Angiogenesis, bone and bones, EPCs, endothelial cells, fracture healing, mesenchymal stem cells, angiogenesis, critical size bone defects, vascularised bone, regeneration

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Article Details

Year: 2012
Page: [293 - 301]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/157488812800793081
Price: $58