Circulating endothelial progenitor cells during normal pregnancy and pre-eclampsia

Am J Reprod Immunol. 2006 Aug;56(2):79-85. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.2006.00387.x.


Problem: 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-alpha (TNF-alpha) was measured by BrdU assay.

Results: 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-alpha induced the proliferation of EPC derived from patients with PE.

Conclusions: In PE, some factors including Ang II and TNF-alpha 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.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology*
  • Endothelial Cells / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / cytology*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / blood*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / immunology
  • Pregnancy / blood*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / immunology