Remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC) protects the heart against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury and recent work also suggested chronic remote ischemic conditioning (cRIPC) for cardiovascular protection. Based on current knowledge that systemic immunomodulatory effects of RIPC and the anti-inflammatory capacity of monocytes might be involved in cardiovascular protection, the aim of our study was to evaluate whether RIPC/cRIPC blood plasma is able to induce in-vitro angiogenesis, identify responsible factors and evaluate the effects of RIPC/cRIPC on cell surface characteristics of circulating monocytes. Eleven healthy volunteers were subjected to RIPC/cRIPC using a blood pressure cuff inflated to > 200 mmHg for 3 × 5 min on the upper arm. Plasma and peripheral blood monocytes were isolated before RIPC (Control), after 1 × RIPC (RIPC) and at the end of 1 week of daily RIPC (cRIPC) treatment. Plasma concentrations of potentially pro-angiogenic humoral factors (CXCL5, Growth hormone, IGFBP3, IL-1α, IL-6, Angiopoietin 2, VEGF, PECAM-1, sTie-2, IL-8, MCSF) were measured using custom made multiplex ELISA systems. Tube formation assays for evaluation of in-vitro angiogenesis were performed with donor plasma, monocyte conditioned culture media as well as IL-1α, CXCL5 and Growth hormone. The presence of CD14, CD16, Tie-2 and CCR2 was analyzed on monocytes by flow cytometry. Employing in-vitro tube formation assays, several parameters of angiogenesis were significantly increased by cRIPC plasma (number of nodes, P < 0.05; number of master junctions, P < 0.05; number of segments, P < 0.05) but were not influenced by culture medium from RIPC/cRIPC treated monocytes. While RIPC/cRIPC treatment did not lead to significant changes of the median plasma concentrations of any of the selected potentially pro-angiogenic humoral factors, in-depth analysis of the individual subjects revealed differences in plasma levels of IL-1α, CXCL5 and Growth hormone after RIPC/cRIPC treatment in some of the volunteers. Nevertheless, the positive effects of RIPC/cRIPC plasma on in-vitro angiogenesis could not be mimicked by the addition of the respective humoral factors alone or in combination. While monocyte conditioned culture media did not affect in-vitro tube formation, flow cytometry analyses of circulating monocytes revealed a significant increase in the number of Tie-2 positive and a decrease of CCR2 positive monocytes after RIPC/cRIPC (Tie-2: cRIPC, P < 0.05; CCR2: RIPC P < 0.01). Cardiovascular protection may be mediated by RIPC and cRIPC via a regulation of plasma cytokines as well as changes in cell surface characteristics of monocytes (e.g. Tie-2). Our results suggest that a combination of humoral and cellular factors could be responsible for the RIPC/cRIPC mediated effects and that interindividual variations seem to play a considerable part in the RIPC/cRIPC associated mechanisms.
Keywords: Angiogenesis; Cardiac protection; Cardiovascular disease; Chronic remote ischemic preconditioning (cRIPC); Monocytes; Remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC); Tie-2.
© 2021. The Author(s).