Application studies and challenges of endothelial progenitor cells transplantation for diabetes retinopathy

Authors: Luan Rong,  Shao Yan,  Li Xiaorong
DOI: 10.3760/cma.j.cn115989-20221005-00468
Published 2022-11-10
Cite asChin J Exp Ophthalmol, 2022, 40(11): 999-1005.

Abstract                              [View PDF] [Read Full Text]

Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are progenitor cells possessing vasculogenic potential.The main function of EPCs is to play a role by paracrine angiogenic factors and neuroprotective factors.EPCs also have the ability to differentiate into endothelial cells and integrate themselves into newly formed capillaries.Therefore, EPCs play an important role in vascular repair and neuroprotection.The research on surface markers and functions of EPCs is the basis of EPCs research.A series of clinical trials, animal and cell experiments show that EPCs transplantation and joint transplantation of EPCs and other cells can promote vascular repair and improve retinal function with good safety.EPCs are expected to be an effective treatment for diabetic retinopathy (DR). DR is now defined as a refractory eye disease with retinal neurovascular unit (NVU) injury associated with systemic metabolism anbormality.Change in EPCs count and damage of EPCs function are involved in the occurrence and development of DR.Ophthalmologists should pay attention to the early managing approach of EPCs.Current treatment strategies include transplantation of EPCs, joint transplantation of EPCs with other cells, and regulation of endogenous EPCs.The unique biological characteristics of EPCs provide many possibilities in repairing retinal NVU injury and DR prevention and treatment.This article introduces the latest research progress of EPCs for DR from five aspects including the origin of EPCs, physiological and pathological state, function, treatment strategy and clinical application.At the same time, the existing problems and technical bottlenecks will also be discussed.

Key words:

Diabetic retinopathy/theropy; Endothelial progenitor cells; Vascular endothelial injury; Neuroprotection; Cell therapy

Contributor Information

Luan Rong

Tianjin Key Laboratory of Retinal Functions and Diseases, Tianjin Branch of National Clinical Research Center for Ocular Disease, Eye Institute and School of Optometry, Tianjin Medical University Eye Hospital, Tianjin 300384, China

Shao Yan

Tianjin Key Laboratory of Retinal Functions and Diseases, Tianjin Branch of National Clinical Research Center for Ocular Disease, Eye Institute and School of Optometry, Tianjin Medical University Eye Hospital, Tianjin 300384, China

Li Xiaorong

Tianjin Key Laboratory of Retinal Functions and Diseases, Tianjin Branch of National Clinical Research Center for Ocular Disease, Eye Institute and School of Optometry, Tianjin Medical University Eye Hospital, Tianjin 300384, China

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