Circulating Progenitor Cells Are Reduced in Patients with Severe Lung Disease

Authors

  • Gian Paolo Fadini M.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Metabolic Diseases, University of Padova School of Medicine, Padova, Italy
    • Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Divisione di Malattie del Metabolismo, Università degli Studi di Padova, Via Giustiniani 2, 35128 Padova, Italy. Telephone: 0039-333-5682517 Fax: 0039-049-8754179
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  • Marco Schiavon,

    1. Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, Thoracic Surgery Branch, University of Padova School of Medicine, Padova, Italy
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  • Marcella Cantini,

    1. Unità Locale Socio-Sanitaria 17 Veneto Region (Italy), Social Pneumology Service, Italy
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  • Ilenia Baesso,

    1. Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Clinical Immunology and Hematology, University of Padova School of Medicine, Padova, Italy
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  • Monica Facco,

    1. Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Clinical Immunology and Hematology, University of Padova School of Medicine, Padova, Italy
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  • Marta Miorin,

    1. Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Clinical Immunology and Hematology, University of Padova School of Medicine, Padova, Italy
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  • Mauro Tassinato,

    1. Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Clinical Immunology and Hematology, University of Padova School of Medicine, Padova, Italy
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  • Saula Vigili de Kreutzenberg,

    1. Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Metabolic Diseases, University of Padova School of Medicine, Padova, Italy
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  • Angelo Avogaro,

    1. Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Metabolic Diseases, University of Padova School of Medicine, Padova, Italy
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  • Carlo Agostini

    1. Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Clinical Immunology and Hematology, University of Padova School of Medicine, Padova, Italy
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Abstract

Patients with chronic severe lung disease are prone to develop pulmonary vascular remodeling, possibly through pulmonary endothelial dysfunction. Circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are involved in maintenance of endothelial homeostasis. The aim of this study was to assess whether obstructive and restrictive lung diseases are associated with modification of EPC number in peripheral blood. The study was cross-sectional and involved patients with obstructive (n = 15) and restrictive (n = 15) lung disease on oxygen therapy and 15 control subjects. Circulating EPCs were defined by the surface expression of CD34, CD133, and kinase-insert domain receptor. Results from spirometric tests, blood gas analyses, and blood cell counts have been related to EPC numbers. Patients with chronic hypoxia and severe lung disease showed lower levels of all progenitors than do control subjects. A consensual further reduction of EPC was found in restrictive patients in comparison with obstructive patients. Among restrictive patients, EPC reduction was related to reduced lung volumes and impaired alveolo-arterial diffusion, whereas progenitor cell levels were directly related to erythrocyte number. Considering obstructive patients, significant correlations were found between progenitor cell levels and bronchial obstruction and between progenitor cell levels and arterial oxygen tension. These findings demonstrate a reduction of EPCs in patients with chronic lung disease and long-lasting hypoxia. This alteration was more evident in restrictive patients and correlated to disease severity. Depletion of circulating EPCs may be involved in altered endothelial homeostasis of pulmonary circulation in these disorders.

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