Fucoidans -- sulphated polysaccharides extracted from brown algae – could be beneficial in patients with ischemic diseases. Their antithrombotic and proangiogenic properties promote in animals, neovascularization and angiogenesis which prevent necrosis of ischemic tissue. In 1997, endothelial progenitor cells were first identified in human peripheral blood. They are recruited from bone marrow and contribute to neovascularization after ischemic injury. Mobilization of these cells in ischemic sites is an important step in new vessel formation. It is thought that the progenitors interact with endothelial cells, then extravasate and reach ischemic sites, where they proliferate and differentiate into new blood vessels. Although chemokines, cytokines and adhesion molecules are thought to be involved, the precise mechanism of progenitor mobilization is not fully understood. Recent studies suggest that stromal-derived factor 1 plays a critical role at several steps of progenitor mobilization. Given the role of proteoglycans within bone marrow, at the endothelium surface, and in growth factor and chemokine binding, fucoidans might influence the mobilization of endothelial progenitor cells and their incorporation in ischemic tissue. This review provides an update on circulating endothelial progenitors and their role in neovascularization. It focuses on recent advances in our understanding of interactions between these progenitor cells and exogenous sulphated polysaccharides, and their implications for understanding the fucoidan mechanism of action.
Keywords: Fucoidan, sulphated polysaccharides, endothelial progenitor cells, neovascularization, angiogenesis, cytokines, growth factors
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