Normal levels and function of endothelial progenitor cells in patients with psoriatic arthritis
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Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are a population of bone marrow derived cells which have been attributed with the ability to migrate into areas of tissue ischemia and to posses reparative qualities. EPCs have been shown to be decreased in level and function in various inflammatory disorders. Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are associated with an increase in cardiovascular morbidity. The aim of the study was to investigate the number of EPCs among patients suffering from psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Patients suffering from active psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis were recruited as well as healthy controls. Disease activity was assessed with the DAS-28, BASDAI and PASI scores. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated and EPC numbers evaluated by FACS analysis using the CD34/133 and CD34/KDR. No significant difference was found between numbers of EPCs between healthy controls, patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. A significant correlation was found between levels of VGEF and the BASDAI score. The results of the current study do not support a significant role for EPCs in the pathogenesis of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.