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CD31+ Peripheral Blood Cells Promote Angiogenesis

Researchers find that direct implantation increases perfusion in ischemic animal model

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Peripheral blood (PB) cells which are positive for the endothelial marker CD31 promote angiogenesis in an ischemic animal model even without prior cell culture, according to research published in the Aug. 10 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Sung-Whan Kim, Ph.D., of the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a study to determine if CD31 is a novel marker of circulating angiogenic and vasculogenic cells and if these cells have a therapeutic effect on experimental ischemia. CD31+ cells were extracted from PB mononuclear cells and their gene profile was established before direct implantation into a mouse hind limb ischemia model.

Using fluorescent-activated cell sorting, PB-CD31+ cells were found by the researchers to have endothelial and hematopoietic stem/progenitor markers. On microarray and polymerase chain reaction, PB-CD31+ cells had a higher level of expression of proangiogenic genes than did PB-CD31− cells, and also formed vascular structures spontaneously. Direct transplantation of PB-CD31+ cells into the animal model increased perfusion and prevented ischemic limb loss.

"Two aspects of this study are of particular importance for potential clinical translation. First, it demonstrates the ease by which a therapeutically relevant cell population can be obtained with the minimum of manipulation. Second, whereas it remains to be seen whether the number of cells generated would be sufficient for therapeutic effect, the abundance of the CD31+ cell population in peripheral blood is certainly a strength," write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

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