Cellular plasticity: The good, the bad, and the ugly? microenvironmental influences on progenitor cell therapy

Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine Research Group, Department of Pathology and Medical Biology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology (Impact Factor: 1.77). 02/2012; 90(3):275-85. DOI: 10.1139/y11-107
Source: PubMed


Progenitor cell based therapies have emerged for the treatment of ischemic cardiovascular diseases where there is insufficient endogenous repair. However, clinical success has been limited, which challenges the original premise that transplanted progenitor cells would orchestrate repair. In this review, we discuss the basics of endothelial progenitor cell therapy and describe how microenvironmental changes (i.e., trophic and mechano-structural factors) in the damaged myocardium influence progenitor cell plasticity and hamper beneficial therapeutic outcome. Further understanding of these microenvironmental clues will enable optimization of cell therapy at all levels. We discuss current concepts and provide future perspectives for the enhancement of progenitor cell therapy, and merge these advances into a combined approach for ischemic tissue repair.

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    • "In recent years, it has become apparent that the endothelium plays a pivotal role in the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases141516. The endothelial lining of the vasculature is exposed to a large variety of stimuli which require the endothelium to be highly plastic[17], as is reflected by the remarkable heterogeneity of endothelial cells in tissues and organs. Although this endothelial plasticity is essential during homeostasis, during disease, pathological stimuli might induce adverse plasticity which can contribute to disease. "
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