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      Circulating Endothelial Progenitor Cells and Coronary Collaterals in Patients with Non-ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction


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          Background: Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are bone marrow-derived cells that are augmented in response to ischemia and incorporated into neovascularization sites. We sought to determine whether circulating EPCs are related to collateral formation following non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). Methods: Twenty patients who underwent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) within a week of NSTEMI were divided into two groups: patients without collaterals (coll–, n = 10) and patients with Rentrop grade 3–4 collaterals (coll+, n = 10). Blood samples were drawn before PCI and 24 ± 2 h after PCI. EPC colonies were grown from peripheral blood mononuclear cells, characterized, and counted. Using flow cytometry the percentage of cells coexpressing vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 and CD133 was determined. Results: The coll+ group had higher degree of culprit vessel stenosis and lower initial thrombolysis in myocardial infarction flow grade. The relative number of EPCs before PCI was significantly higher in the coll+ group than in the coll– group (1.49 ± 0.9% vs. 0.77 ± 0.4%, p = 0.045). There were no significant intergroup differences in the number of EPC colony-forming cells. The number of EPC colonies increased in the coll– group after PCI (9.5 ± 4.8 to 14.0 ± 5.9/10<sup>6</sup> cells, p = 0.01). Conclusions: This study supports an association between circulating EPC levels and collateral formation in patients with an NSTEMI.

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          VEGF contributes to postnatal neovascularization by mobilizing bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells.

          Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been shown to promote neovascularization in animal models and, more recently, in human subjects. This feature has been assumed to result exclusively from its direct effects on fully differentiated endothelial cells, i.e. angiogenesis. Given its regulatory role in both angiogenesis and vasculogenesis during fetal development, we investigated the hypothesis that VEGF may modulate endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) kinetics for postnatal neovascularization. Indeed, we observed an increase in circulating EPCs following VEGF administration in vivo. VEGF-induced mobilization of bone marrow-derived EPCs resulted in increased differentiated EPCs in vitro and augmented corneal neovascularization in vivo. These findings thus establish a novel role for VEGF in postnatal neovascularization which complements its known impact on angiogenesis.
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            Mobilized bone marrow cells repair the infarcted heart, improving function and survival.

            Attempts to repair myocardial infarcts by transplanting cardiomyocytes or skeletal myoblasts have failed to reconstitute healthy myocardium and coronary vessels integrated structurally and functionally with the remaining viable portion of the ventricular wall. The recently discovered growth and transdifferentiation potential of primitive bone marrow cells (BMC) prompted us, in an earlier study, to inject in the border zone of acute infarcts Lin(-) c-kit(POS) BMC from syngeneic animals. These BMC differentiated into myocytes and vascular structures, ameliorating the function of the infarcted heart. Two critical determinants seem to be required for the transdifferentiation of primitive BMC: tissue damage and a high level of pluripotent cells. On this basis, we hypothesized here that BMC, mobilized by stem cell factor and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor, would home to the infarcted region, replicate, differentiate, and ultimately promote myocardial repair. We report that, in the presence of an acute myocardial infarct, cytokine-mediated translocation of BMC resulted in a significant degree of tissue regeneration 27 days later. Cytokine-induced cardiac repair decreased mortality by 68%, infarct size by 40%, cavitary dilation by 26%, and diastolic stress by 70%. Ejection fraction progressively increased and hemodynamics significantly improved as a consequence of the formation of 15 x 10(6) new myocytes with arterioles and capillaries connected with the circulation of the unaffected ventricle. In conclusion, mobilization of primitive BMC by cytokines might offer a noninvasive therapeutic strategy for the regeneration of the myocardium lost as a result of ischemic heart disease and, perhaps, other forms of cardiac pathology.
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              Mobilization of endothelial progenitor cells in patients with acute myocardial infarction.

              Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) circulate in adult peripheral blood (PB) and contribute to neovascularization. However, little is known regarding whether EPCs and their putative precursor, CD34-positive mononuclear cells (MNC(CD34+)), are mobilized into PB in acute ischemic events in humans. Flow cytometry revealed that circulating MNC(CD34+) counts significantly increased in patients with acute myocardial infarction (n=16), peaking on day 7 after onset, whereas they were unchanged in control subjects (n=8) who had no evidence of cardiac ischemia. During culture, PB-MNCs formed multiple cell clusters, and EPC-like attaching cells with endothelial cell lineage markers (CD31, vascular endothelial cadherin, and kinase insert domain receptor) sprouted from clusters. In patients with acute myocardial infarction, more cell clusters and EPCs developed from cultured PB-MNCs obtained on day 7 than those on day 1. Plasma levels of vascular endothelial growth factor significantly increased, peaking on day 7, and they positively correlated with circulating MNC(CD34+) counts (r=0.35, P=0.01). This is the first clinical demonstration showing that lineage-committed EPCs and MNC(CD34+), their putative precursors, are mobilized during an acute ischemic event in humans.

                Author and article information

                J Vasc Res
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                October 2005
                28 September 2005
                : 42
                : 5
                : 408-414
                aThe Methodist DeBakey Heart Center and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Tex., bDivision of Cardiology, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, Tex., cDepartment of Leukemia, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Tex., USA
                87370 J Vasc Res 2005;42:408–414
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                : 07 April 2005
                : 19 May 2005
                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 3, References: 29, Pages: 7
                Research Paper

                General medicine,Neurology,Cardiovascular Medicine,Internal medicine,Nephrology
                Endothelial progenitor cells,Myocardial infarction,Collateral circulation


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