Endothelial progenitors: A consensus statement on nomenclature

Reinhold J. Medina*, Chad L. Barber, Florence Sabatier, Francoise Dignat-George, Juan M. Melero-Martin, Kiarash Khosrotehrani, Osamu Ohneda, Anna M. Randi, Jerry K.Y. Chan, Teruhide Yamaguchi, Victor W.M. Van Hinsbergh, Mervin C. Yoder, Alan W. Stitt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) nomenclature remains ambiguous and there is a general lack of concordance in the stem cell field with many distinct cell subtypes continually grouped under the term “EPC.” It would be highly advantageous to agree on standards to confirm an endothelial progenitor phenotype and this should include detailed immunophenotyping, potency assays, and clear separation from hematopoietic angiogenic cells which are not endothelial progenitors. In this review, we seek to discourage the indiscriminate use of “EPCs,” and instead propose precise terminology based on defining cellular phenotype and function. Endothelial colony forming cells and myeloid angiogenic cells are examples of two distinct and well-defined cell types that have been considered EPCs because they both promote vascular repair, albeit by completely different mechanisms of action. It is acknowledged that scientific nomenclature should be a dynamic process driven by technological and conceptual advances; ergo the ongoing “EPC” nomenclature ought not to be permanent and should become more precise in the light of strong scientific evidence. This is especially important as these cells become recognized for their role in vascular repair in health and disease and, in some cases, progress toward use in cell therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1316-1320
Number of pages5
JournalStem Cells Translational Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

Cite this