Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Circulating endothelial progenitor cells: a new approach to anti-aging medicine?

Nina A Mikirova1, James A Jackson2, Ron Hunninghake2, Julian Kenyon3, Kyle WH Chan4, Cathy A Swindlehurst5, Boris Minev6, Amit N Patel7, Michael P Murphy8, Leonard Smith9, Doru T Alexandrescu10, Thomas E Ichim9* and Neil H Riordan1119

Author Affiliations

1 Bio-Communications Research Institute, Wichita, Kansas, USA

2 The Center For The Improvement Of Human Functioning International, Wichita, Kansas, USA

3 The Dove Clinic for Integrated Medicine, Hampshire, UK

4 Biotheryx Inc, San Diego, California, USA

5 Novomedix Inc, San Diego, California, USA

6 Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, California, USA

7 Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

8 Division of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, IN, USA

9 Medistem Inc, San Diego, California, USA

10 Georgetown Dermatology, Washington, DC, USA

11 Aidan Products, Chandler, Arizona, USA

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Journal of Translational Medicine 2009, 7:106  doi:10.1186/1479-5876-7-106

Published: 15 December 2009

Abstract

Endothelial dysfunction is associated with major causes of morbidity and mortality, as well as numerous age-related conditions. The possibility of preserving or even rejuvenating endothelial function offers a potent means of preventing/treating some of the most fearful aspects of aging such as loss of mental, cardiovascular, and sexual function.

Endothelial precursor cells (EPC) provide a continual source of replenishment for damaged or senescent blood vessels. In this review we discuss the biological relevance of circulating EPC in a variety of pathologies in order to build the case that these cells act as an endogenous mechanism of regeneration. Factors controlling EPC mobilization, migration, and function, as well as therapeutic interventions based on mobilization of EPC will be reviewed. We conclude by discussing several clinically-relevant approaches to EPC mobilization and provide preliminary data on a food supplement, Stem-Kine, which enhanced EPC mobilization in human subjects.