Despite progress in cardiovascular research, a cure for peripheral vascular disease has not been found. We compared the vascularization and tissue regeneration potential of murine and human undifferentiated multipotent adult progenitor cells (mMAPC-U and hMAPC-U), murine MAPC-derived vascular progenitors (mMAPC-VP), and unselected murine BM cells (mBMCs) in mice with moderate limb ischemia, reminiscent of intermittent claudication in human patients. mMAPC-U durably restored blood flow and muscle function and stimulated muscle regeneration, by direct and trophic contribution to vascular and skeletal muscle growth. This was in contrast to mBMCs and mMAPC-VP, which did not affect muscle regeneration and provided only limited and transient improvement. Moreover, mBMCs participated in a sustained inflammatory response in the lower limb, associated with progressive deterioration in muscle function. Importantly, mMAPC-U and hMAPC-U also remedied vascular and muscular deficiency in severe limb ischemia, representative of critical limb ischemia in humans. Thus, unlike BMCs or vascular-committed progenitors, undifferentiated multipotent adult progenitor cells offer the potential to durably repair ischemic damage in peripheral vascular disease patients.
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