Stem/Progenitor Cells, Atherosclerosis and Cardiovascular Regeneration

Olena Dotsenko*
Department of Cardiac and Vascular Surgery, St. George’s University of London, London, UK

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© Olena Dotsenko; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Cardiac and Vascular Surgery, St. George’s University of London, London, UK; Tel: 0044 (0) 20 8725 3946; Fax: 0044 (0) 20 8725 5173; E-mail:


Regenerative cell based therapy has potential to become effective adjuvant treatment for patients with atherosclerotic disease. Although data from animal studies support this notion, clinical studies undertaken in patients with acute and chronic coronary artery disease do not conclusively demonstrate benefits of such therapy. There are many questions on the stem cell translational roadmap. The basic mechanisms of stem cell-dependent tissue regeneration are not well understood. There is a debate regarding characterization of specific cell types conferring therapeutic effects. In particular, the role of endothelial progenitor cells as a specific reparative cell subtype is questioned, and the role of myeloid cell linage in fostering of vasculo- and angiogenesis is being increasingly appreciated. Intense discussions surround the place of stem/progenitor cells in atherosclerosis progression, plaque destabilization and vessel remodeling. This paper summarizes the current knowledge on the regenerative stem/progenitor cell definitions, mechanisms of stem cell trafficking, homing and their involvement in atherosclerosis progression.

Keywords: Stem cells, atherosclerosis, regenerative therapy..