Revascularization of ischemic limbs after transplantation of human bone marrow cells with high aldehyde dehydrogenase activity

Benjamin J. Capoccia, Debra L. Robson, Krysta D. Levac, Dustin J. Maxwell, Sarah A. Hohm, Marian J. Neelamkavil, Gillian I. Bell, Anargyros Xenocostas, Daniel C. Link, David Piwnica-Worms, Jan A. Nolta, David A. Hess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


The development of cell therapies to treat peripheral vascular disease has proven difficult because of the contribution of multiple cell types that coordinate revascularization. We characterized the vascular regenerative potential of transplanted human bone marrow (BM) cells purified by high aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDHhi) activity, a progenitor cell function conserved between several lineages. BMALDHhi cells were enriched for myeloerythroid progenitors that produced multipotent hematopoietic reconstitution after transplantation and contained non-hematopoietic precursors that established colonies in mesenchymal-stromal and endothelial culture conditions. The regenerative capacity of human ALDHhi cells was assessed by intravenous transplantation into immune-deficient mice with limb ischemia induced by femoral artery ligation/transection. Compared with recipients injected with unpurified nucleated cells containing the equivalent of 2- to 4-fold more ALDHhi cells, mice transplanted with purified ALDHhi cells showed augmented recovery of perfusion and increased blood vessel density in ischemic limbs. ALDHhi cells transiently recruited to ischemic regions but did not significantly integrate into ischemic tissue, suggesting that transient ALDHhi cell engraftment stimulated endogenous revascularization. Thus, human BM ALDHhi cells represent a progenitor-enriched population of several cell lineages that improves perfusion in ischemic limbs after transplantation. These clinically relevant cells may prove useful in the treatment of critical ischemia in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5340-5351
Number of pages12
Issue number21
StatePublished - 2009


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