The endothelium entered the field of regenerative medicine with the discovery of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). These cells participate in endothelial homeostasis and are actively involved in physiological and pathological neovascularization. Despite the unresolved discussion about the very phenotype of these cells, great efforts have been devoted to study the role of EPCs in cardiovascular diseases. EPCs are very rare in peripheral circulation and are further reduced in association with cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, finding therapies to improve EPCs could unleash the way to promising cell-based therapies. Ex-vivo expansion of EPCs is a critical step to augment EPCs number, but it still needs several improvements. An alternative strategy to partially overcome these limitations is to target EPCs with available drugs. In this review we will discuss how disparate pharmacological compounds have been used to improve EPCs number and functions.
Keywords: Endothelium, stem cells, regeneration, treatment
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