Background: Endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) which are characterised by the simulateous expression of CD34, CD133 and vascular endothelial growth receptor 2 (VEGF 2) are involved in the pathophysiology of congestive heart failure (CHF) and their number and function is reduced in CHF. But so far our knowledge about the number of circulating hematopoietic stem/ progenitor cells (CPC) expressing the early hematopoietic marker CD133 and CD34 in CHF is spares and therefore we determined their number and correlated them with New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class.
Methods: CD34 and CD133 surface expression was quantified by flow cytometry in the peripheral venous blood of 41 healthy adults and 101 patients with various degrees of CHF.
Results: CD34+, CD133+ and CD34+/CD133+ cells correlated inversely with age. Both the number of CD34+ and of CD34+/CD133+ cells inversely correlated with NYHA functional class. The number of CD133+ cells was not affected by NYHA class. Furthermore the number of CD133+ cells did not differ between control and CHF patients.
Conclusion: In CHF the release of CD34+, CD133+ and CD34+/CD133+ cells from the bone marrow seems to be regulated differently. Modulating the releasing process in CHF may be a tool in CHF treatment.