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Stem Cells International
Volume 2018, Article ID 9847015, 24 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/9847015
Review Article

Insights into Endothelial Progenitor Cells: Origin, Classification, Potentials, and Prospects

1B.D.S., M.D.S. (Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics), Research Postgraduate Student, Discipline of Prosthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong
2BChinMed, Research Assistant, Department of Surgery, Queen Mary Hospital, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong
3MBBS, MD, FRCR, FHKCR, FHKAM, Clinical Professor, Department of Clinical Oncology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong
4D.D.S, Ph.D. (Med), Clinical Professor, Discipline of Endodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong
5B.D.S., M.D.S. (Prosthetic Dentistry), MRACDS (Pros), FRACDS, FCDHK (Pros), FHKAM (Dental Surgery), Clinical Associate Professor, Discipline of Prosthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong

Correspondence should be addressed to H. Chopra; moc.liamg@elimsarpohchsetih and E. H. N. Pow; kh.ukh@wopnhe

Received 11 May 2018; Revised 27 August 2018; Accepted 18 September 2018; Published 18 November 2018

Academic Editor: Georgina Ellison

Copyright © 2018 H. Chopra 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.

Abstract

With the discovery of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in the late 1990s, a paradigm shift in the concept of neoangiogenesis occurred. The identification of circulating EPCs in peripheral blood marked the beginning of a new era with enormous potential in the rapidly transforming regenerative field. Overwhelmed with the revelation, researchers across the globe focused on isolating, defining, and interpreting the role of EPCs in various physiological and pathological conditions. Consequently, controversies emerged regarding the isolation techniques and classification of EPCs. Nevertheless, the potential of using EPCs in tissue engineering as an angiogenic source has been extensively explored. Concomitantly, the impact of EPCs on various diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases, has been studied. Within the limitations of the current knowledge, this review attempts to delineate the concept of EPCs in a sequential manner from the speculative history to a definitive presence (origin, sources of EPCs, isolation, and identification) and significance of these EPCs. Additionally, this review is aimed at serving as a guide for investigators, identifying potential research gaps, and summarizing our current and future prospects regarding EPCs.