Is endothelium the origin of endothelial progenitor cells?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Endothelial cells provide the dynamic lining of blood vessels throughout the body and provide many tissue-specific functions, in addition to providing a nonthrombogenic surface for blood cells and conduit for oxygen and nutrient delivery. As might be expected, some endothelial cells are injured or become senescent and are sloughed into the bloodstream, and most circulating endothelial cells display evidence of undergoing apoptosis or necrosis. However, there are rare viable circulating endothelial cells that display properties consistent with those of a progenitor cell for the endothelial lineage. This article reviews historical and current literature to present some evidence that the endothelial lining of blood vessels may serve as a source for rare endothelial colony-forming cells that display clonal proliferative potential, self-renewal, and in vivo vessel forming ability. The article also discusses the current gaps in our knowledge to prove whether the colony-forming cells are in fact derived from vascular endothelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1094-1103
Number of pages10
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Angiogenesis
  • Endothelial function
  • Endothelial progenitor cells
  • Endothelium
  • Thrombosis
  • Vascular endothelial cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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