Circulating endothelial progenitor cells, vascular function, and cardiovascular risk

Jonathan M. Hill, Gloria Zalos, Julian P J Halcox, William H. Schenke, Myron A. Waclawiw, Arshed A. Quyyumi, Toren Finkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND Cardiovascular risk factors contribute to atherogenesis by inducing endothelial-cell injury and dysfunction. We hypothesized that endothelial progenitor cells derived from bone marrow have a role in ongoing endothelial repair and that impaired mobilization or depletion of these cells contributes to endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease progression. METHODS We measured the number of colony-forming units of endothelial progenitor cells in peripheral-blood samples from 45 men (mean [±SE] age, 50±2 years). The subjects had various degrees of cardiovascular risk but no history of cardiovascular disease. Endothelium-dependent and endothelium-independent function was assessed by high-resolution ultrasonography of the brachial artery. RESULTS We observed a strong correlation between the number of circulating endothelial progenitor cells and the subjects' combined Framingham risk factor score (r=-0.47, P=0.001). Measurement of flow-mediated brachial-artery reactivity also revealed a significant relation between endothelial function and the number of progenitor cells (r=0.59, P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-600
Number of pages8
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 13 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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