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J Pharmacol Sci. 2006 Sep;102(1):96-102.

Effects of treatment for diabetes mellitus on circulating vascular progenitor cells.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Cardiology, Osaka City University Medical School, Japan.


The circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have an important role in angiogenesis, and the smooth muscle progenitor cells (SMPCs) participate in atherosclerosis. However, little is known about the effects of treatment of diabetes mellitus (DM) on EPCs and SMPCs. Therefore, we investigated the relations between the number of circulating vasucular progenitor cells before and after the treatment for DM. Ten previously untreated DM patients were enrolled in this study. Blood samples were collected before and after treatment. The peripheral mononuclear cells were purified and cultured to differentiate them into EPCs and SMPCs. After two weeks, the number of EPCs was determined by Dil-labeled acetylated low density lipoprotein and lectin binding. The number of SMPCs was evaluated by immunocytochemical staining of alpha-smooth muscle actin. Before treatment, the number of EPCs and SMPCs was significantly related to hemoglobin A1c and blood sugar. Serial examination revealed that improvement of glycemic control significantly increased the number of both EPCs and SMPCs. DM reduces the number of circulating EPCs and SMPCs according to its severity, and treatment of DM significantly increases the number of EPCs and SMPCs, which may be involved in angiogenesis and atherosclerosis in diabetes.

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