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Acta Clin Belg. 2012 Jul-Aug;67(4):262-9.

Suppressed increase in blood endothelial progenitor cell content as result of single exhaustive exercise bout in male revascularised coronary artery disease patients.

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Hasselt University, Faculty of Medicine, Hasselt, Belgium.


Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) significantly affect endothelial repair capacity and, hence, cardiovascular disease incidence. In healthy subjects, blood EPC content increases significantly as result of a single maximal exercise test, hereby stimulating endothelial repair capacity. It remains to be shown whether a single exercise positively affects blood EPCs in revascularised coronary artery disease (CAD) patients. From male revascularised CAD patients (n = 60) and healthy volunteers (n = 25) blood samples were collected before and immediately after a maximal cardiopulmonary exercise test. Blood samples were analyzed by optimised flow cytometry methodology for EPC content (CD34+, CD34+ CD133+, CD34+VEGFR2+, CD34+CD133+VEGFR2+, and CD34+CD133-VEGFR2+ cells) and compared between groups. CFU-Hill colonies were additionally assessed. As a result of a maximal exercise test, blood CD34+, CD34+VEGFR2+ (all EPCs), CD34+CD133+, and CD34+ CD133-VEGFR2+ (mature EPCs) cells increased significantly in CAD patients (p < 0.05), but less than in healthy subjects (p < 0.05, and p = 0.06 for CD34+VEGFR2+). CD34+CD133+VEGFR2+ cells (immature EPCs) did not change as result of exercise (p > 0.05). No changes in CFU-Hill colonies as result of exercise were observed. This study shows that blood mature EPCs (CD34+CD133-VEGFR2+) increase significantly as result of a single exercise bout in revascularised CAD patients, but with smaller magnitude compared to healthy subjects. Blood immature EPCs (CD34+CD133+VEGFR2+) did not change significantly as result of exercise.

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