J Genet Med.  2010 Dec;7(2):138-144.

Reduced Number of Endothelial Progenitor Colony-Forming Units in Patients with Preeclampsia

Affiliations
  • 1Laboratory of Medical Genetics, Cheil General Hospital and Women's Healthcare Center, Kwandong University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. hmryu@yahoo.com
  • 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cheil General Hospital and Women's Healthcare Center, Kwandong University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE
Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), which mediates neovascularization of uterine endometrium may be involved in the neovascularization in the utero-placental circulation. Low numbers of endothelial progenitor colony-forming unit (CFU) in culture are predictive biomarker of vascular disease. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether the number of CFU in preeclampsia differed from that in normal pregnancy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Women with singleton normal (n=26) or preeclamptic (n=20) pregnancies were studied during the third trimester. The number of EPCs was quantified by CFU methodology. Plasma levels of angiogenic factors, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1), and placental growth factor (PlGF) were determined by enzyme-linked immunoassay.
RESULTS
CFU numbers were significantly decreased in the preeclamptic patients compared with the controls (median, 3; range 1-12 vs. 31; 3-81 CFU/well, P<0.001). A majority of the cells comprising individual colonies were positive for endothelial characteristics (Ulex europaeus lectin staining and acetylated low-density lipoprotein uptake). Plasma levels of the sFlt-1 were highly elevated (P<0.001) in patient with preeclampsia compared to controls, whereas PlGF were highly reduced (P=0.004), but these factors did not associate with CFU numbers.
CONCLUSION
Our results suggest that reduced numbers of CFU obtained from maternal peripheral blood may contribute to the development of preeclampsia.

Keyword

Preeclampsia; Endothelial progenitor cells; Colony-forming unit; VEGF; sFlt-1; PlGF
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