Background: Ischemic postconditioning (PostC), brief repetitive cycles of ischemia and reperfusion during early reperfusion, is suggested to protect the myocardium in patients with stent thrombosis-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) by improved endothelial dysfunction and alteration of cytokine release. These mechanisms are also of importance for the recruitment of endothelial progenitor cells (EPC), an endogenous repair mechanism for re-endothelialization and neoangiogenesis. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of PostC on recruitment of EPC.
Methods: EPC were analyzed in 20 patients with STEMI randomized to receive four cycles of PostC following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or conventional PCI. Different subpopulations of EPC were quantified immediately and on day 4 using flow cytometry. Myocardium at risk, and infarct size was determined by cardiovascular magnetic resonance.
Results: There was no influence of PostC on the number of different EPC (CD34(+) , CD133(+) , CD34(+) CD133(+) , CD34(+) KDR(+) , CD34(-) CD133(+) KDR(+) , CD34(+) CD133(+) KDR(+) ). Left ventricular ejection fraction, myocardium at risk, and infarct size did not correlate to the mobilization of EPC. There was an inverse correlation between the symptom-to-balloon time and the mobilization of progenitor precursor cells (CD34(+) cells: R =-0.527, P = 0.02; CD133(+) cells: R =-0.624, P = 0.004; CD34(+) CD133(+) cells: R =-0.466, P = 0.04).
Discussion: Ischemic PostC did not result in improved mobilization of EPC in STEMI patients. The recruitment of progenitor cells seems to be related to the duration of ischemia rather than the size of the ischemic myocardial area. More effort is needed to understand the changes of endothelial surface markers by PostC and their role in EPC recruitment and homing.
©2012, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.