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Natural products as regulators of progenitor cells: Role in cardiovascular regenerative medicine

Author(s): Kumar AHS | Hynes B | Mueen Ahmed K

Journal: Journal of Young Pharmacists
ISSN 0975-1483

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 28;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Endothelial cells | natural products | smooth muscle cells | vascular progenitors

The cellular network in vasculature is predominantly composed of two distinct cell types i.e., endothelial and smooth muscle cells, which along with the connective tissue and extracellular matrix govern the tone and function of the blood vessels. In response to vascular injury, progenitor cells are mobilized from local niece, peripheral circulation, or bone marrow in order to contain the inflammatory process in progress and/or repair the damaged vasculature. The progenitor cells are reported to play a significant role in the repair of vascular disorders. A variety of cytokine-chemokine interplay are shown to precisely regulate the mobilization, homing, and differentiation of progenitor cells as a consequence to the vascular injury and enable restoration of vascular structure and function. The cytokine-chemokine interplay and factors leading to impairment of the progenitor cell dynamics are complex cascades, which govern the regenerative capacity of vascular progenitors, thus negatively modulating the development of atherosclerosis or other vascular diseases. These complex cascades provide an opportunity for identifying novel diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets for combating vascular diseases. However, many challenges remain in understanding dynamics of progenitor cells origin, mobilization, homing, and differentiation. Recent studies have reported the potential of natural products to mimic the role of cytokines in modulating the vascular progenitor function. Furthermore, some natural products have been shown to restore the defective progenitor cell function, thus promoting the vascular repair process. In this review, we provide a basic background on vascular progenitor biology and highlight the untapped potential of natural products to positively modulate the progenitor biology.
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