Endothelial and cardiac progenitors: Boosting, conditioning and (re)programming for cardiovascular repair

Maurizio Pesce, Ilaria Burba, Elisa Gambini, Francesca Prandi, Giulio Pompilio, Maurizio C. Capogrossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Preclinical studies performed in cell culture and animal systems have shown the outstanding ability of stem cells to repair ischemic heart and lower limbs by promoting the formation of new blood vessels and new myocytes. In contrast, clinical studies of stem cell administration in patients with myocardial ischemia have revealed only modest, although promising, results. Basic investigations have shown the feasibility of adult cells reprogramming into pluripotent cells by defined factors, thus opening the way to the devise of protocols to ex vivo derive virtually unexhausted cellular pools. In contrast, cellular and molecular studies have indicated that risk factors limit adult-derived stem cell survival, proliferation and engraftment in ischemic tissues. The use of fully reprogrammed cells raises safety concerns; therefore, adult cells remain a primary option for clinicians interested in therapeutic cardiovascular repair. Pharmacologic approaches have been devised to restore the cardiovascular repair ability of failing progenitors from patients at risk. In the present contribution, the most advanced pharmacologic approaches to (re)program, boost, and condition endothelial and cardiac progenitor cells to enhance cardiovascular regeneration are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-61
Number of pages12
JournalPharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Cell therapy
  • Heart repair
  • Risk factor
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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