Depletion of endothelial progenitor cells in the peripheral blood of patients with ulcerative colitis
- Authors: Junya Masuda, Keiichi Mitsuyama, Hiroshi Yamasaki, Hiroko Takedatsu, Takashi Okamura, Akira Andoh, Toyoaki Murohara, Takayuki Asahara, Michio Sata
Published online on: Thursday, February 1, 2007
- Pages: 221-228
- DOI: 10.3892/ijmm.19.2.221
There is strong evidence to suggest that endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) play a significant role in reendothelialization and subsequent tissue repair. This study examined the role of EPCs in inflammatory bowel disease, a disease in which impairment of mucosal healing has been implicated. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained from 50 patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), 29 patients with Crohn's disease (CD), 14 patients with infectious colitis, and 35 normal control subjects were cultured in EPC medium, harvested after 7 days, and characterized by immunocytochemistry and flow cytometry. Colony assay for hematopoietic progenitor cells was also performed. Patients with active UC had a significantly decreased number of circulating EPCs as compared with healthy controls (p=0.0013), patients with inactive UC (p=0.0099), patients with active CD (p=0.0235) and patients with infectious colitis (p=0.0002). On the other hand, patients with infectious colitis had a significantly increased number of circulating EPCs as compared with healthy controls (p=0.0406), patients with active UC (p=0.0002), and patients with active CD (p=0.0316). In patients with UC, the number of circulating EPCs was correlated with the serum hemoglobin levels (r=0.485, p=0.007) and inversely with the platelet count (r=−0.372, p=0.0382). The number of hematopoietic progenitor cell colonies was comparable among patients with UC, patients with CD, patients with infectious colitis, and healthy controls. Our observations indicate that the number of circulating EPCs in patients with UC is significantly reduced. Further studies are needed to define the mechanisms that underlie the reduction in the number of circulating EPCs and to better understand the pathophysiological consequences of this event in patients with UC.