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Endothelial progenitor cells: a new player in lupus?

Sahena Haque12, M Yvonne Alexander3 and Ian N Bruce14*

Author affiliations

1 Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology Unit, School of Translational Medicine, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PT, UK

2 Department of Rheumatology, East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, Haslingden Road, Blackburn, BB2 3HH, UK

3 Cardiovascular Sciences Group, School of Biomedicine, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, The University of Manchester, 46 Grafton Street, Manchester, M13 9NT, UK

4 The Kellgren Centre for Rheumatology, Manchester NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9WL, UK

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Citation and License

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012, 14:203  doi:10.1186/ar3700

Published: 20 February 2012


Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have a greatly increased risk of cardiovascular disease. There is growing interest in the link between vascular damage and lupus-specific inflammatory factors. Impaired endothelial repair could account for the endothelial dysfunction in this patient group. This review describes the contribution that endothelial progenitor cells could play in the pathogenesis of premature vascular damage in this disease. The methods of isolation, detection, and characterization of endothelial progenitor cells, together with their potential role in repair of the endothelium and as a therapeutic target in SLE, are discussed.