Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) correspond to a population of cells with novel properties capable of angiogenesis and vasculogenesis, thus they are likely to display unique role in the reconstitution of the blood brain barrier (BBB) after stroke. Laboratory evidence supports safety and efficacy of cell therapy for stroke, with limited clinical trials recently initiated. This lab-to-clinic ascent of cellbased therapeutics has been aided by the establishment of consortium consisting of thought-leaders from academia, industry, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, there remain unanswered questions prior to realization of large-scale application of cell transplantation in patients. This review article discusses translational challenges associated in cell therapy, emphasizing the need for optimizing both safety and efficacy profiles for advancing the clinical applications of EPC transplantation for stroke patients.
Keywords: Cerebral ischemia, stem cells, cell transplantation, translational research, Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), blood brain barrier (BBB), stroke, cell therapy, Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).