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International Journal of Nephrology
Volume 2011, Article ID 828369, 7 pages
Review Article

Endothelial Progenitor Cells in Acute Ischemic Kidney Injury: Strategies for Increasing the Cells' Renoprotective Competence

Department of Nephrology and Rheumatology, University Medical Center, Robert-Koch-Straße 40, 37075 Göttingen, Germany

Received 13 December 2010; Accepted 1 March 2011

Academic Editor: Michael S. Goligorsky

Copyright © 2011 D. Patschan et al. 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.


Acute ischemic kidney injury is the most frequent cause of acute renal failure in daily clinical practice. It has become increasingly recognized that microvascular endothelial cell dysfunction (ED) in peritubular capillaries inhibits the process of postischemic renal reperfusion. ED can serve as therapeutic target in the management of acute ischemic kidney injury. Postischemic reflow can be restored by systemic administration of either mature endothelial cells or of endothelial progenitor cells. Endothelial progenitor cells EPCs can be cultured from the peripheral circulation of humans and different animals. The cells act vasoprotectively by direct and indirect mechanisms. The protective effects of EPCs in acute ischemic kidney injury can be stimulated by preincubating the cells with different agonistic mediators. This paper summarizes the currently available data on strategies to improve the renoprotective activity of EPCs in acute ischemic kidney injury.