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      Opposing effects of monomeric and pentameric C-reactive protein on endothelial progenitor cells

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          C-reactive protein (CRP) has been linked to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. The dissociation of native, pentameric (p)CRP to monomeric (m)CRP on the cell membrane of activated platelets has recently been demonstrated. The dissociation of pCRP to mCRP may explain local pro-inflammatory reactions at the site of developing atherosclerotic plaques. As a biomarker, pCRP predicts cardiovascular adverse events and so do reduced levels and function of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). We hypothesised that mCRP and pCRP exert a differential effect on EPC function and differentiation. EPCs were treated with mCRP or pCRP for 72 h, respectively. Phenotypical characterisation was done by flow cytometry and immunofluorescence microscopy, while the effect of mCRP and pCRP on gene expression was examined by whole-genome gene expression analysis. The functional capacity of EPCs was determined by colony forming unit (CFU) assay and endothelial tube formation assay. Double staining for acetylated LDL and ulex lectin significantly decreased in cells treated with pCRP. The length of tubuli in a matrigel assay with HUVECs decreased significantly in response to pCRP, but not to mCRP. The number of CFUs increased after pCRP treatment. RNA expression profiling demonstrated that mCRP and pCRP cause highly contradictory gene regulation. Interferon-responsive genes (IFI44L, IFI44, IFI27, IFI 6, MX1, OAS2) were among the highly up-regulated genes after mCRP, but not after pCRP treatment. In conclusion, EPC phenotype, genotype and function were differentially affected by mCRP and pCRP, strongly arguing for differential roles of these two CRP conformations. The up-regulation of interferon-inducible genes in response to mCRP may constitute a mechanism for the local regulation of EPC function.

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          Most cited references 62

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          Reduced number of circulating endothelial progenitor cells predicts future cardiovascular events: proof of concept for the clinical importance of endogenous vascular repair.

          The maintenance of endothelial integrity plays a critical role in preventing atherosclerotic disease progression. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) were experimentally shown to incorporate into sites of neovascularization and home to sites of endothelial denudation. Circulating EPCs may thus provide an endogenous repair mechanism to counteract ongoing risk factor-induced endothelial injury and to replace dysfunctional endothelium. In 120 individuals (43 control subjects, 44 patients with stable coronary artery disease, and 33 patients with acute coronary syndromes), circulating EPCs were defined by the surface markers CD34+KDR+ and analyzed by flow cytometry. Cardiovascular events (cardiovascular death, unstable angina, myocardial infarction, PTCA, CABG, or ischemic stroke) served as outcome variables over a median follow-up period of 10 months. Patients suffering from cardiovascular events had significantly lower numbers of EPCs (P<0.05). Reduced numbers of EPCs were associated with a significantly higher incidence of cardiovascular events by Kaplan-Meier analysis (P=0.0009). By multivariate analysis, reduced EPC levels were a significant, independent predictor of poor prognosis, even after adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors and disease activity (hazard ratio, 3.9; P<0.05). Reduced levels of circulating EPCs independently predict atherosclerotic disease progression, thus supporting an important role for endogenous vascular repair to modulate the clinical course of coronary artery disease.
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            Assessing identity, phenotype, and fate of endothelial progenitor cells.

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              Circulating activated platelets exacerbate atherosclerosis in mice deficient in apolipoprotein E.

              We studied whether circulating activated platelets and platelet-leukocyte aggregates cause the development of atherosclerotic lesions in apolipoprotein-E-deficient (Apoe(-/-)) mice. Circulating activated platelets bound to leukocytes, preferentially monocytes, to form platelet-monocyte/leukocyte aggregates. Activated platelets and platelet-leukocyte aggregates interacted with atherosclerotic lesions. The interactions of activated platelets with monocytes and atherosclerotic arteries led to delivery of the platelet-derived chemokines CCL5 (regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted, RANTES) and CXCL4 (platelet factor 4) to the monocyte surface and endothelium of atherosclerotic arteries. The presence of activated platelets promoted leukocyte binding of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and increased their adhesiveness to inflamed or atherosclerotic endothelium. Injection of activated wild-type, but not P-selectin-deficient, platelets increased monocyte arrest on the surface of atherosclerotic lesions and the size of atherosclerotic lesions in Apoe(-/-) mice. Our results indicate that circulating activated platelets and platelet-leukocyte/monocyte aggregates promote formation of atherosclerotic lesions. This role of activated platelets in atherosclerosis is attributed to platelet P-selectin-mediated delivery of platelet-derived proinflammatory factors to monocytes/leukocytes and the vessel wall.

                Author and article information

                Basic Res Cardiol
                Basic Research in Cardiology
                Springer-Verlag (Berlin/Heidelberg )
                12 May 2011
                12 May 2011
                September 2011
                : 106
                : 5
                : 879-895
                [1 ]Department of Cardiology and Angiology, University Hospital Freiburg, Hugstetter Street 55, 79106 Freiburg, Germany
                [2 ]Atherothrombosis and Vascular Biology, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia
                [3 ]Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, University Hospital Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
                [4 ]The Blood and DNA Profiling Facility, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia
                [5 ]Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mercy Hospital for Women, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
                © Springer-Verlag 2011
                Original Contribution
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                © Springer-Verlag 2011

                Cardiovascular Medicine

                interferon-alpha, epc, crp, cardiovascular disease, gene array, mcrp


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