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Experimental Diabetes Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 872504, 10 pages
Review Article

Cell-Based Therapies for Diabetic Complications

1Department of Morphology and Embriology and LTTA Centre, University of Ferrara, 44100 Ferrara, Italy
2Baker IDI, Heart & Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia
3Institute for Maternal and Child Health, IRCCS Burlo Garofolo, Trieste, 34137, Italy

Received 24 February 2011; Accepted 21 March 2011

Academic Editor: Gian Paolo Fadini

Copyright © 2012 Stella Bernardi 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.


In recent years, accumulating experimental evidence supports the notion that diabetic patients may greatly benefit from cell-based therapies, which include the use of adult stem and/or progenitor cells. In particular, mesenchymal stem cells and the circulating pool of endothelial progenitor cells have so far been the most studied populations of cells proposed for the treatment of vascular complications affecting diabetic patients. We review the evidence supporting their use in this setting, the therapeutic benefits that these cells have shown so far as well as the challenges that cell-based therapies in diabetic complications put out.