The bone marrow (BM) is a well-recognized source of stem/progenitor cells for cell therapy in cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Preclinical and clinical studies suggest that endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) contribute to reparative process of vascular endothelium and participate in angiogenesis. As for all organs and cells across the lifespan, BM and EPCs are negatively impacted by ageing due to microenvironment modifications and EPC progressive dysfunctions. The encouraging results in terms of neovascularization observed in young animals after EPC administration were mitigated in aged patients treated for ischemic CVDs. The limited efficacy of EPC-based therapy in clinical setting might be ascribed at least partly to ageing. In this review, we comprehensively discussed the age-related changes of BM and EPCs and their implication for cardiovascular cell-therapies. Finally, we examined alternative approaches under investigation to enhance EPC potency.
- Journal Article