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Am J Transplant. 2006 Dec;6(12):2922-8.

Kidney transplantation substantially improves endothelial progenitor cell dysfunction in patients with end-stage renal disease.

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1
Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine III, Technical University of Dresden, Dresden, Germany. kayherbrig@web.de

Abstract

Endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) are involved in endothelial repair and maintenance. Dysfunction of EPC may contribute to accelerated arteriosclerosis in chronic kidney disease. Kidney transplantation (KTx) improves both survival and endothelial function of dialysis patients. In a prospective study, we tested to which extent KTx changes EPC biology. We studied number and function (migratory activity, adhesion to extracellular matrix proteins and to mature endothelial cells [EC]) of EPC in 20 patients during dialysis and 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after KTx. Twenty-two healthy volunteers served as matched controls. Circulating precursor populations were measured by flow cytometric analysis. Cytokines relevant for EPC mobilization were monitored. Compared to the dialysis state, KTx increased the migration of EPC to approximately 2-fold. Adhesion to fibronectin and to collagen type IV was significantly increased after KTx. An improved adhesion rate of EPC to mature EC was observed. The number of EPC decreased. The amount of precursor populations showed no difference compared to the pretransplant state. Our study shows an improved function of EPC after KTx. This finding indicates an improved potential for endothelial repair which in turn may contribute to enhanced endothelial function and reduced cardiovascular morbidity after KTx.

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