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Circulating Endothelial Progenitor Cells During Normal Pregnancy and Pre-Eclampsia


Keiichi Matsubara, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ehime University School of Medicine, Shitsukawa, Toon, Ehime 791-0295, Japan.



Endothelial progenitor cell (EPC), which mediates neovascularization of uterine endometrium may be involved in the neovascularization in the utero-placental circulation. We evaluated whether EPC proliferation in pre-eclampsia (PE) differed from that in normal pregnancy.

Method of study

EPC number in peripheral blood (20 non-pregnancy, 36 normal pregnancy, 10 PE) was measured using flow cytometry. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell was cultured for 7 days and EPC proliferation was assessed based on detection of the uptake of acetylated low-density lipoprotein and lectin. Furthermore, the proliferative activity induced by angiotensin II (Ang II) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) was measured by BrdU assay.


EPC number in peripheral blood did not differ significantly between PE and normal pregnancy; however, EPC proliferation was significantly increased in PE. Furthermore, Ang II and TNF-α induced the proliferation of EPC derived from patients with PE.


In PE, some factors including Ang II and TNF-α stimulated EPC proliferation; however, the impairment of EPC mobilization into systemic circulation by serum factors may contribute to insufficient regeneration of EC in disturbed utero-placental circulation of PE.