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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2015, Article ID 848272, 14 pages
Review Article

Diabetes, Endothelial Dysfunction, and Vascular Repair: What Should a Diabetologist Keep His Eye on?

Department for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases “Mladen Sekso”, Clinic for Internal Medicine, University Hospital Center “Sestre Milosrdnice”, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Received 17 September 2014; Accepted 13 January 2015

Academic Editor: Nikolaos Papanas

Copyright © 2015 V. Altabas. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cardiovascular complications are the most common complications of diabetes mellitus. A prominent attribute of diabetic cardiovascular complications is accelerated atherosclerosis, considered as a still incurable disease, at least at more advanced stages. The discovery of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), able to replace old and injured mature endothelial cells and capable of differentiating into healthy and functional endothelial cells, has offered the prospect of merging the traditional theories on the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis with evolving concepts of vascular biology. The literature supports the notion that EPC alterations are involved in the pathogenesis of vascular diseases in diabetics, but at present many questions remain unanswered. In this review the aspects linking endothelial progenitor cells to the altered vascular biology in diabetes mellitus are discussed.