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Anna Machalińska, Krzysztof Safranow, Violetta Dziedziejko, Katarzyna Mozolewska-Piotrowska, Edyta Paczkowska, Patrycja Kłos, Ewa Pius, Katarzyna Grymuła, Barbara Wiszniewska, Danuta Karczewicz, Bogusław Machaliński; Different Populations of Circulating Endothelial Cells in Patients with Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Novel Insight into Pathogenesis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(1):93-100. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.10-5756.
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Circulating endothelial cells (CECs) and endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) may serve as novel markers of endothelial dysfunction. The presence and clinical implications of CECs and the expression of endothelin (ET)-1, one of the most potent vasoconstrictors, have not been evaluated in patients with the neovascular form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This study was conducted to determine the different populations of endothelial cells (ECs) in the peripheral blood of AMD patients and to correlate these findings with the expression of ET-1 and the cytokines and growth factors responsible for EC migration and function.
Peripheral blood samples were collected from 29 patients with diagnosed neovascular AMD and from 38 healthy control subjects. CD133−CD144+ CECs and CD34+CD133+CD144+ EPCs were counted and analyzed by flow cytometry. The intracellular expression of ET-1 in peripheral blood nuclear cells (PBNCs) was studied by using qRT-PCR, Western blot, and immunocytofluorescence assays, and ET-1, IGF-1, VEGF, SDF-1, and HGF plasma concentrations were measured in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.
Increased CECs and EPCs were found in the AMD patients compared with the counts in healthy individuals. The expression of intracellular ET-1 was significantly elevated in PBNCs from the AMD patients compared with the control subjects. In addition a significantly higher plasma concentration of IGF-1 was observed, but a lower SDF-1 level in the group of AMD patients.
These findings suggest that circulating endothelial cells, together with high ET-1 content, may contribute to the development of AMD. Further prospective investigations on the mechanism involved may be relevant to the potential treatment of this disease.
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