Identification of endothelial cells and progenitor cell subsets in human peripheral blood

Myka L. Estes, Julie A. Mund, David A. Ingram, Jamie Case

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

66 Scopus citations


An assay for circulating cell subsets in human peripheral blood by flow cytometry is used as a biomarker to determine cardiovascular disease risk and tumor responsiveness to chemotherapy since endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) function in vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. Despite analytical advances in polychromatic flow cytometry (PFC), conventional approaches are routinely utilized to enumerate and isolate EPCs, which has led to varied results in clinical studies, potential cellular misidentification, and thus a lack of a plausible biological explanation for how purported EPCs function. Herein, a reproducible PFC protocol is provided to identify a rare circulating endothelial colony-forming cell (ECFC) with proliferative potential, along with a population of circulating progenitor cells (CPCs) in which the ratio analysis distinguishes between healthy and disease populations. In sum, a reliable PFC protocol, which can be used to investigate the roles of human hematopoietic and endothelial elements in the growth and maintenance of the vasculature, is described. Curr. Protoc. Cytom. 52:9.33.1-9.33.11.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9.33.1-9.33.11
JournalCurrent Protocols in Cytometry
Issue numberSUPPL. 52
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010


  • Circulating endothelial cells
  • Circulating endothelial progenitors
  • Endothelial cells
  • Endothelial progenitor cells
  • Human peripheral blood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Biochemistry
  • Histology

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