The identification of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) has led to a significant paradigm in the field of vascular biology and opened a door to the development of new therapeutic approaches. Based on the current evidence, it appears that EPCs may make both direct contribution to neovascularization and indirectly promote the angiogenic function of local endothelial cells via secretion of angiogenic factors. This concept of arterial wall repair mediated by bone marrow (BM)-derived EPCs provided an alternative to the local “response to injury hypothesis” for development of atherosclerotic inflammation. Increased oxidant stress has been proposed as a molecular mechanism for endothelial dysfunction, in part by reducing nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability. EPCs function may also be highly dependent on a well-controlled oxidant stress because EPCs NO bioavailability (which is highly sensitive to oxidant stress) is critical for their in vivo function. The critical question is whether oxidant damage directly leads to an impairment in EPCs function. It was revealed that activation of angiotensin II (Ang II) type 1 receptor stimulates nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase in the vascular endothelium and leads to production of reactive oxygen species. We observed that Ang II accelerates both BM- and peripheral blood (PB)-derived EPCs senescence by a gp91phox-mediated increase of oxidative stress, resulting in EPCs dysfunction. Consistently, both Ang II receptor 1 blockers (ARBs) and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors have been reported to increase the number of EPCs in patients with cardiovascular disease. In this review, we describe current understanding of the contributions of oxidative stress in cardiovascular disease, focusing on the potential mechanisms of EPCs senescence.
Keywords: Endothelial progenitor cell, oxidative stress, senescence, angiotensin II, telomerase, nitric oxide
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