• Endothelial progenitor cells;
  • Ischemia;
  • Angiogenesis;
  • Cell transplantation


The hierarchy of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in human umbilical cord blood has been disclosed. In this study we compare, for the first time, the angiogenic potential difference between two types of EPCs. We cultured mononuclear cells (MNCs) isolated from human umbilical cord blood using endothelial cell-conditioned medium and obtained two types of EPCs, referred to as circulating angiogenic cells (CACs) and high proliferative potential endothelial progenitor cells (HPP-EPCs). Both types of cells possess characteristics of EPCs, including expressing CD31, VE-cadherin, KDR and von Willebrand factor, uptake of Ac-LDL and binding to lectin. However, unlike CACs, which express CD14 but not CD133, HPP-EPCs express CD133 but not CD14. Also, unlike CACs, HPP-EPCs display stronger proliferation and clonogenic potential in vitro and show stronger ability to promote vascular growth in the hind-limb model of ischemia in mice (BALB/C-nu) in vivo.