Characterization of Altered Patterns of Endothelial Progenitor Cells in Sickle Cell Disease Related Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension


Endothelial dysfunction plays an important role in the pathogenesis of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in sickle cell disease (SCD). A variety of evidence suggests that circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) play an integral role in vascular repair. We hypothesized that SCD patients with PAH are deficient in EPCs, potentially contributing to endothelial dysfunction and disease progression. The number of circulating CD34+/CD14-/CD106+ EPCs was significantly lower in SCD patients with PAH than without PAH (P=0.025). CD34+/CD14-/CD106+ numbers significantly correlated with tricuspid regurgitation velocity (TRV, r=−0.44, P=0.033) 6-minute walk distance (6MWD, r= 0.72, P=0.001), mean pulmonary artery pressure (mPAP, r= −0.43, P=0.05), and pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR, r=−0.45, P=0.05). Other EPC subsets including CD31+/CD133+/CD146+ were similar between both groups. Numbers of EPCs did not correlate with age, sex, hemoglobin, WBC count, reticulocyte count, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), iron/ferritin levels, and serum creatinine. These data indicate that subsets of EPC are lower in SCD patients with PAH than in those without PAH. Fewer EPCs in PAH patients may contribute to the pulmonary vascular pathology. Reduced number of EPCs in SCD patients with PAH might not only give potential insight into the pathophysiological mechanisms but also might be useful for identifying suitable therapeutic targets in these patients.

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Endothelin and Endothelium & Epithelium and Epithelial Transport
Pathology and Pathophysiology


Fatima Anjum, Jason Lazar, Joe Zein, Ghassan Jamaleddine, Spiro Demetis, Raj Wadgaonkar

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Pulmonary Circulation Vol 2: No 1 cover image

March 2012

Pulmonary Circulation Vol 2: No 1

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