Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Progenitor Cells Predict Heart Disease Severity

10.03.2004


Duke University Medical Center researchers have uncovered a strong relationship between the severity of heart disease and the level of endothelial progenitor cells circulating in the bloodstream. This relationship, if confirmed by ongoing studies, could represent an important new diagnostic and therapeutic target for the treatment of coronary artery disease, they said.


Geoffrey Kunz, M.D.



These endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) are produced in the bone marrow, and one of their roles is to repair damage to the lining of blood vessels. Duke cardiologists believe that one cause of coronary artery disease is an increasing inability over time of these EPCs to keep up with the damage caused to the arterial lining, or endothelium.

"In our study we found that patients with multi-vessel disease had many fewer EPCs, which supports our hypothesis that these cells play an important role in protecting blood vessels," said cardiologist Geoffrey Kunz, M.D., of the Duke Clinical Research Institute. "If you don’t have enough of the cells, the ongoing damage to the endothelium from traditional risk factors occurs faster than the body’s ability for repair."


Kunz presented the results of the Duke analysis March 9, 2004, at the annual scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology.

In an article published last year in Circulation (July 29, 2003), Duke researchers reported discovering in mouse studies that a major outcome of aging is an unexpected failure of the bone marrow to produce EPCs needed to repair and rejuvenate arteries exposed to a genetically induced risk of high lipid levels. The researchers demonstrated that an age-related loss of these particular cells is critical to determining the onset and progression of atherosclerosis, which causes arteries to clog and become less elastic.

For the current study, the researchers measured the levels of EPCs in 122 patients undergoing diagnostic cardiac catheterization procedures at Duke and correlated those findings with the severity of coronary artery disease. Specifically, they determined how many of the coronary arteries showed signs of atherosclerosis.

The average age of the patient sample was 58, with 37 percent of them having multi-vessel disease, 29 percent having diabetes and 20 percent having had a recent heart attack.

The researchers removed EPCs from the blood samples and grew them in cell culture to determine how many of the cells would grow. The number of cells is measured as colony-forming units (CFU).

"We found that the patients with multi-vessel disease had significantly lower EPC counts than those without -- 13 CFU vs. 41.7 CFU," Kunz said. "Additionally, for every 10 CFU increase in EPC level, a patient’s likelihood for multi-vessel disease declined by 20 percent."

While the EPC levels did not vary significantly by age, gender or other risk factors, the researchers found that the levels were lower for diabetics (19 CFU vs. 36 CFU) and for patients who had suffered a recent heart attack (23 CFU vs. 34 CFU).

"These findings demonstrate a strong inverse relationship between circulating EPCs and coronary artery disease, independent of traditional disease risk factors," Kunz said.

The researchers said that it might ultimately be possible to forestall or even prevent development of atherosclerosis by injecting these cells into patients or by retraining the patient’s own stem cells to differentiate into progenitor cells capable of arterial repair.

While the direct clinical use of stem cells as a treatment might be many years off, the researchers said it is likely that strategies currently used to reduce the risks for heart disease -- such as lifestyle modifications and/or different medications -- preserve these rejuvenating cells for a longer period of time, which delays the onset of atherosclerosis.

"On the diagnostic front, it may be possible to take blood samples from a young person, and depending on measurements of the EPC levels, begin taking actions early that prevent the depletion of EPCs," Kunz said. "These cells might also be able to forestall the development of congestive heart failure in patients who have suffered a heart attack. In these ways, EPCs can play an important role in both primary and secondary prevention."

Other members of the Duke team were Grace Liang, Florim Cuculoski, David Gregg, M.D., Korkut Vata, Pascal Goldschmidt, M.D., Chumming Dong, M.D., Doris Taylor, Ph.D., and Eric Peterson, M.D.

Richard Merritt | dukemed news
Further information:
http://dukemednews.org/news/article.php?id=7451

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>