Basic Research in Cardiology

, 103:582

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

  • Stefanie Keymel
  • Christoph Kalka
  • Tienush Rassaf
  • Yerem Yeghiazarians
  • Malte Kelm
  • Christian Heiss
ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTION

DOI: 10.1007/s00395-008-0742-z

Cite this article as:
Keymel, S., Kalka, C., Rassaf, T. et al. Basic Res Cardiol (2008) 103: 582. doi:10.1007/s00395-008-0742-z

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= 0.58).

Conclusion

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

Keywords

aging Intima-media thickness endothelial progenitor cells 

Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefanie Keymel
    • 1
  • Christoph Kalka
    • 2
  • Tienush Rassaf
    • 1
  • Yerem Yeghiazarians
    • 3
  • Malte Kelm
    • 1
  • Christian Heiss
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical Clinic I, Dept. of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Pulmonology, and Vascular MedicineRWTH University Hospital AachenAachenGermany
  2. 2.Dept. of Vascular MedicineSwiss Cardiovascular Center, Inselspital, University HospitalBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Division of CardiologyUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA

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