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Stem Cells International
Volume 2015, Article ID 434962, 16 pages
Review Article

Adult Vascular Wall Resident Multipotent Vascular Stem Cells, Matrix Metalloproteinases, and Arterial Aneurysms

1Interuniversity Center of Phlebolymphology (CIFL), International Research and Educational Program in Clinical and Experimental Biotechnology, Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro, Viale Europa, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy
2Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Naples “Federico II”, 80100 Naples, Italy
3Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Catanzaro, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy
4Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Molise, 88100 Campobasso, Italy

Received 28 December 2014; Revised 23 February 2015; Accepted 6 March 2015

Academic Editor: Diana Klein

Copyright © 2015 Bruno Amato 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.


Evidences have shown the presence of multipotent stem cells (SCs) at sites of arterial aneurysms: they can differentiate into smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and are activated after residing in a quiescent state in the vascular wall. Recent studies have implicated the role of matrix metalloproteinases in the pathogenesis of arterial aneurysms: in fact the increased synthesis of MMPs by arterial SMCs is thought to be a pivotal mechanism in aneurysm formation. The factors and signaling pathways involved in regulating wall resident SC recruitment, survival, proliferation, growth factor production, and differentiation may be also related to selective expression of different MMPs. This review explores the relationship between adult vascular wall resident multipotent vascular SCs, MMPs, and arterial aneurysms.