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Keywords:

  • smooth muscle cell;
  • atherosclerosis;
  • bone marrow;
  • progenitor cell;
  • regeneration

Abstract

The accumulation of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) plays a principal role in atherogenesis, post-angioplasty restenosis and transplantation-associated vasculopathy. Therefore, much effort has been expended in targeting the migration and proliferation of medial smooth muscle cells to prevent occlusive vascular remodeling. Recent evidence suggests that bone marrow-derived circulating precursors can also give rise to endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells that contribute to vascular repair, remodeling, and lesion formation under physiological and pathological conditions. This article overviews recent findings on circulating vascular progenitor cells and describes potential therapeutic strategies that target these cells to treat occlusive vascular diseases.