Microarray-based characterization of a colony assay used to investigate endothelial progenitor cells and relevance to endothelial function in humans

Aditi Desai, Alexander Glaser, Delong Liu, Nalini Raghavachari, Arnon Blum, Gloria Zalos, Margaret Lippincott, J. Philip McCoy, Peter J. Munson, Michael A. Solomon, Robert L. Danner, Richard O. Cannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective - An assay proposed to quantify endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) colonies in humans was investigated to determine the phenotype of recovered cells and their relevance to in vivo endothelial function. Methods and Results - Twelve sedentary subjects participating in a worksite wellness program underwent endothelial flow-mediated dilation (FMD) testing of the brachial artery and blood sampling for EPC colony assay. Microarray-based genotypic characterization of colonies showed surface markers consistent with T lymphocyte phenotype, but not with an EPC (CD34, CD133, VEGFR-2) or endothelial (CD146) phenotype. Gene expression patterns more closely matched T lymphocytes (r=0.87) than endothelial cells (r=0.66) in our microarray database. Flow cytometry of colonies confirmed large populations of CD3+CD45+ T cells (>75%) and few CD146+CD45- endothelial cells (<1%). Further, there was no correlation between colony number and the magnitude of FMD (r=-0.1512, P=0.6389). After exercise training, subjects improved FMD, from 6.7±2.0 to 8.7±1.9% (P=0.0043). Colonies also increased (P=0.0210), but without relation to FMD (r=0.1074, P=0.7396). T lymphocyte phenotype persisted after exercise (r=0.87). Conclusions - Cells in a commonly used EPC colony assay have a gene expression and cell surface marker profile consistent with a predominance of T lymphocytes and have an unclear relevance to endothelial function, either before or after exercise training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Endothelial function
  • Endothelial progenitor cell
  • Exercise
  • Gene expression
  • T lymphocyte

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