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Basic Res Cardiol. 2008 Nov;103(6):582-6. doi: 10.1007/s00395-008-0742-z. Epub 2008 Aug 14.

Impaired endothelial progenitor cell function predicts age-dependent carotid intimal thickening.

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1
Medical Clinic I, Dept. of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Pulmonology, and Vascular Medicine, RWTH University Hospital Aachen, Pauwelstrasse 30, 52074, Aachen, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We investigated whether qualitative or quantitative alterations of the endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) pool predict age-related structural vessel wall changes.

BACKGROUND:

We have previously shown that age-related endothelial dysfunction is accompanied by qualitative rather than quantitative changes of EPCs. Animal studies suggest that impaired EPC functions lead to accelerated arterial intimal thickening.

METHODS:

Intima-media thickness (IMT) was measured in the common carotid artery in our previously published groups of younger (25 +/- 1 years, n = 20) and older (61 +/- 2 years, n = 20) healthy non-smoking volunteers without arterial hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes mellitus. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs, KDR(+)/CD34(+) and KDR(+)/CD133(+)) were counted in peripheral blood using flow cytometry. In ex vivo expanded EPCs, the function was determined as chemotaxis to VEGF, proliferation, and survival.

RESULTS:

We observed thicker IMT in older as compared to younger subjects (0.68 +/- 0.03 mm Vs. 0.48 +/- 0.02 mm, P < 0.001). Importantly, there were significant inverse univariate correlations between IMT, EPC chemotaxis, and survival (r = -0.466 P < 0.05; r = -0.463, P < 0.01). No correlation was observed with numbers of circulating EPCs. Multivariate regression analysis revealed that age, mean arterial pressure and migration of EPCs were independent predictors of IMT (R (2 )= 0.58).

CONCLUSION:

Impaired EPC function may lead to accelerated vascular remodeling due to chronic impairment of endothelial maintenance.

PMID:
18704258
DOI:
10.1007/s00395-008-0742-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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