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      Number and Migratory Activity of Circulating Endothelial Progenitor Cells Inversely Correlate With Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease

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          Abstract

          Recent studies provide increasing evidence that postnatal neovascularization involves bone marrow-derived circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). The regulation of EPCs in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) is unclear at present. Therefore, we determined the number and functional activity of EPCs in 45 patients with CAD and 15 healthy volunteers. The numbers of isolated EPCs and circulating CD34/kinase insert domain receptor (KDR)-positive precursor cells were significantly reduced in patients with CAD by approximately 40% and 48%, respectively. To determine the influence of atherosclerotic risk factors, a risk factor score including age, sex, hypertension, diabetes, smoking, positive family history of CAD, and LDL cholesterol levels was used. The number of risk factors was significantly correlated with a reduction of EPC levels (R=-0.394, P=0.002) and CD34-/KDR-positive cells (R=-0.537, P<0.001). Analysis of the individual risk factors demonstrated that smokers had significantly reduced levels of EPCs (P<0.001) and CD34-/KDR-positive cells (P=0.003). Moreover, a positive family history of CAD was associated with reduced CD34-/KDR-positive cells (P=0.011). Most importantly, EPCs isolated from patients with CAD also revealed an impaired migratory response, which was inversely correlated with the number of risk factors (R=-0.484, P=0.002). By multivariate analysis, hypertension was identified as a major independent predictor for impaired EPC migration (P=0.043). The present study demonstrates that patients with CAD revealed reduced levels and functional impairment of EPCs, which correlated with risk factors for CAD. Given the important role of EPCs for neovascularization of ischemic tissue, the decrease of EPC numbers and activity may contribute to impaired vascularization in patients with CAD. The full text of this article is available at http://www.circresaha.org.

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          Most cited references 9

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          Ischemia- and cytokine-induced mobilization of bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells for neovascularization.

          Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have been isolated from circulating mononuclear cells in human peripheral blood and shown to be incorporated into foci of neovascularization, consistent with postnatal vasculogenesis. We determined whether endogenous stimuli (tissue ischemia) and exogenous cytokine therapy (granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor, GM-CSF) mobilize EPCs and thereby contribute to neovascularization of ischemic tissues. The development of regional ischemia in both mice and rabbits increased the frequency of circulating EPCs. In mice, the effect of ischemia-induced EPC mobilization was demonstrated by enhanced ocular neovascularization after cornea micropocket surgery in mice with hindlimb ischemia compared with that in non-ischemic control mice. In rabbits with hindlimb ischemia, circulating EPCs were further augmented after pretreatment with GM-CSF, with a corresponding improvement in hindlimb neovascularization. There was direct evidence that EPCs that contributed to enhanced corneal neovascularization were specifically mobilized from the bone marrow in response to ischemia and GM-CSF in mice transplanted with bone marrow from transgenic donors expressing beta-galactosidase transcriptionally regulated by the endothelial cell-specific Tie-2 promoter. These findings indicate that circulating EPCs are mobilized endogenously in response to tissue ischemia or exogenously by cytokine therapy and thereby augment neovascularization of ischemic tissues.
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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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              Transplanted cord blood-derived endothelial precursor cells augment postnatal neovascularization.

              Endothelial precursor cells (EPCs) have been identified in adult peripheral blood. We examined whether EPCs could be isolated from umbilical cord blood, a rich source for hematopoietic progenitors, and whether in vivo transplantation of EPCs could modulate postnatal neovascularization. Numerous cell clusters, spindle-shaped and attaching (AT) cells, and cord-like structures developed from culture of cord blood mononuclear cells (MNCs). Fluorescence-trace experiments revealed that cell clusters, AT cells, and cord-like structures predominantly were derived from CD34-positive MNCs (MNC(CD34+)). AT cells and cell clusters could be generated more efficiently from cord blood MNCs than from adult peripheral blood MNCs. AT cells incorporated acetylated-LDL, released nitric oxide, and expressed KDR, VE-cadherin, CD31, and von Willebrand factor but not CD45. Locally transplanted AT cells survived and participated in capillary networks in the ischemic tissues of immunodeficient nude rats in vivo. AT cells thus had multiple endothelial phenotypes and were defined as a major population of EPCs. Furthermore, laser Doppler and immunohistochemical analyses revealed that EPC transplantation quantitatively augmented neovascularization and blood flow in the ischemic hindlimb. In conclusion, umbilical cord blood is a valuable source of EPCs, and transplantation of cord blood-derived EPCs represents a promising strategy for modulating postnatal neovascularization.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Circulation Research
                Circulation Research
                Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
                0009-7330
                1524-4571
                July 06 2001
                July 06 2001
                : 89
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]From the Division of Molecular Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine IV (M.V., S.F., A.A., K.A., C.U., A.M.Z., S.D.), and Department of Hematology, Internal Medicine III (H.M.), University of Frankfurt, Germany.
                Article
                10.1161/hh1301.093953
                11440984
                © 2001

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