Lung

, Volume 188, Issue 4, pp 331–338

Abnormal Levels of Circulating Endothelial Progenitor Cells During Exacerbations of COPD

  • Ernest Sala
  • Cristina Villena
  • Catalina Balaguer
  • Angel Ríos
  • Carlos Fernández-Palomeque
  • Borja G. Cosío
  • Javier García
  • Aina Noguera
  • Alvar Agustí
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00408-009-9225-8

Cite this article as:
Sala, E., Villena, C., Balaguer, C. et al. Lung (2010) 188: 331. doi:10.1007/s00408-009-9225-8

Abstract

Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality is increased in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Reduced levels of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are associated with increased risk of death in patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD). Likewise, during acute events of CAD, the number of circulating EPCs increases under the influence of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and systemic inflammation. Abnormal levels of circulating EPCs have been reported in patients with COPD. However, the response of EPCs to episodes of exacerbation of the disease (ECOPD) has not been investigated yet. We hypothesized that similar to what occurs during acute events of CAD, levels of circulating EPCs would increase during ECOPD. We compared levels of circulating EPCs (assessed by the % of CD34+KDR+ cells determined by flow cytometry) in patients hospitalized because of ECOPD (n = 35; 65 ± 9 years [mean ± SD]; FEV1 = 46 ± 15% predicted), patients with stable COPD (n = 44; 68 ± 8 years; FEV1 = 49 ± 17% predicted), smokers with normal lung function (n = 10; 60 ± 9 years), and healthy never smokers (n = 10; 62 ± 4 years). To investigate potential mechanisms of EPC regulation, we assessed both VEGF and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsC-RP) in plasma. Our results show that EPC levels were higher (p < 0.05) in patients with ECOPD (1.46 ± 1.63%) than in those with stable disease (0.68 ± 0.83%), healthy smokers (0.65 ± 1.11%), and healthy never smokers (1.05 ± 1.36%). The percentage of circulating EPCs was positively related to VEGF plasma levels during ECOPD (r = 0.51, p = 0.003). In a subset of 12 patients who could be studied during both ECOPD and clinical stability, the EPCs levels increased during ECOPD. We conclude that EPC levels are increased during ECOPD, likely in relation to VEGF upregulation.

Keywords

Chronic bronchitis Emphysema Inflammation VEGF COPD exacerbation 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernest Sala
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
  • Cristina Villena
    • 6
  • Catalina Balaguer
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
  • Angel Ríos
    • 5
  • Carlos Fernández-Palomeque
    • 2
  • Borja G. Cosío
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
  • Javier García
    • 4
  • Aina Noguera
    • 3
    • 5
    • 6
  • Alvar Agustí
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Servei de PneumologiaHospital Universitari Son DuretaPalma de MallorcaSpain
  2. 2.Servei de CardiologíaHospital Universitari Son DuretaPalma de MallorcaSpain
  3. 3.Servei de Anàlisi ClíniquesHospital Universitari Son DuretaPalma de MallorcaSpain
  4. 4.Emergency DepartmentHospital Universitari Son DuretaPalma de MallorcaSpain
  5. 5.Fundación Caubet-CimeraInternational Center for Advanced Respiratory MedicineMalloraSpain
  6. 6.CIBER de Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES), Biomedical Research Center Respiratory Disease NetworkMalloraSpain
  7. 7.Institut Clínic del TòraxUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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