Stem cells translational medicine 2018 03 24() doi 10.1002/sctm.17-0043
Autologous endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) therapy is commonly used to stimulate angiogenesis in ischemic repair and wound healing. However, low total numbers and functional deficits of EPCs make autologous EPC therapy ineffective in diabetes. Currently, no known ex vivo culture techniques can expand and/or ameliorate the functional deficits of EPCs for clinical usage. Recently, we showed that a quality-quantity culture (QQc) system restores the vasculogenic and wound-healing efficacy of murine diabetic EPCs. To validate these results and elucidate the mechanism in a translational study, we evaluated the efficacy of this QQc system to restore the vasculogenic potential of diabetic human peripheral blood (PB) CD34+ cells. CD34+ cells purified from PB of diabetic and healthy patients were subjected to QQc. Gene expression, vascular regeneration, and expression of cytokines and paracrine mediators were analyzed. Pre- or post-QQc diabetic human PB-CD34+ cells were transplanted into wounded BALB/c nude mice and streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice to assess functional efficacy. Post-QQc diabetic human PB-CD34+ cell therapy significantly accelerated wound closure, re-epithelialization, and angiogenesis. The higher therapeutic efficacy of post-QQc diabetic human PB-CD34+ cells was attributed to increased differentiation ability of diabetic CD34+ cells, direct vasculogenesis, and enhanced expression of angiogenic factors and wound-healing genes. Thus, QQc can significantly enhance the therapeutic efficacy of human PB-CD34+ cells in diabetic wounds, overcoming the inherent limitation of autologous cell therapy in diabetic patients, and could be useful for treatment of not only wounds but also other ischemic diseases. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2018.