Transplantation of circulating endothelial progenitor cells restores endothelial function of denuded rabbit carotid arteries.

Mayo Clinic of Medicine, Rochester, Minn 55905, USA.
Stroke (Impact Factor: 6.02). 11/2004; 35(10):2378-84. DOI: 10.1161/01.STR.0000141893.33677.5d
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) play an important role in repair of injured vascular endothelium and neovascularization. The present study was designed to determine the effect of EPCs transplantation on the regeneration of endothelium and recovery of endothelial function in denuded carotid arteries.
Isolated mononuclear cells from rabbit peripheral blood were cultured in endothelial growth medium for 7 days, yielding EPCs. A rabbit model of common carotid artery denudation by passage of a deflated balloon catheter was used to evaluate the effects of EPCs on endothelial regeneration and vasomotor function. Immediately after denudation, autologous EPCs (10(5) cells in 200 microL saline) or 200 microL saline alone (control) were administered into the lumen of injured artery.
Four weeks after transplantation, fluorescence-labeled colonies of EPCs were found in the vessel wall. Local transplantation of EPCs as compared with saline administration accelerated endothelialization and significantly improved endothelium-dependent relaxation when assessed 4 weeks after denudation (n=4 to 5, P<0.05). Transplantation of EPCs did not affect vasomotor function of arterial smooth muscle cells. Protein array analysis of conditioned media obtained from cultured EPCs demonstrated the ability of these cells to produce and release a number of proangiogenic cytokines.
We conclude that local delivery of cultured circulating EPCs into the lumen of denuded carotid arteries accelerates endothelialization and improves endothelial function. Paracrine effects of EPCs may contribute to regenerative properties of EPCs.

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