Abstract 953: Circulating Endothelial Progenitor Cells and Vascular Function In Hypertension
Levels of endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) have been suggested to represent a surrogate biologic marker for vascular function in healthy subjects with different cardiovascular risk factors and in diabetic patients. No data are available in hypertensive patients with low cardiovascular risk. Circulating EPC were isolated from peripheral blood at baseline and after 3 months of treatment in 15 patients (mean [±SD] age, 51 ± 9 years, 2 females) with essential hypertension, no history of cardiovascular disease and low cardiovascular risk according to ESH/ESC guidelines 2007 and in 6 normotensive subjects (mean [±SD] age, 34 ± 6 years, 1 female).. Mononuclear cells (MNC) were cultured with endothelial basal medium supplemented with EGM SingleQuots. Fluorescent chemical detection of EPCs was performed on attached MNC after 7 days. EPC were identified by positive double staining for both FITC-labeled Ulex europaeus agglutinin I and Dil-labeled acethylated low density lipoprotein. EPC were counted with an inverted fluorescent microscope (cell number/10^7 plated cells per 1.17 mm2 of area). In all subjects endothelium-dependent and endothelium-independent function was assessed by high-resolution ultrasound of the brachial artery. A greater number of circulating EPC and a higher flow mediated vasodilation (FMD) were observed in controls in respect to hypertensive patients. A significant relation between endothelial function, assessed by FMD of the brachial artery and the number of EPC was also observed in the whole group (r = 0.72, p< 0.001), in hypertensive patients (r = 0.47, p< 0.01) and in healthy controls (r = 0.70, p< 0.05). In conclusion, levels of EPC may be a surrogate biologic marker for vascular function in hypertensive patients, even in the absence of other cardiovascular risk factors.