The Role of Endothelial Progenitor Cells and Statins in Endothelial Function: A Review

Author(s): J. F. Gomez-Cerezo, B. Pagan-Munoz, M. Lopez-Rodriguez, M. Estebanez-Munoz, F. J. Barbado-Hernandez

Journal Name: Cardiovascular & Hematological Agents in Medicinal Chemistry
Formerly Current Medicinal Chemistry - Cardiovascular & Hematological Agents

Volume 5 , Issue 4 , 2007

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Endothelial dysfunction, a well recognized marker of cardiovascular risk, is an early event in artheriosclerosis process. Diabetes mellitus, hypertension and dyslipidemia, known risk factors for coronary disease have been associated with endothelial dysfunction, which improves after the control of these factors. Statins have additional benefits on endothelial function not related to decreasing cholesterol levels, known as pleiotropic effects. Most recently it has been reported the effect of statins promoting bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells. These cells are positive for CD34 and KDR superficial markers of endothelial cellular lineage, which is consistent with the hypothesis that they constitute the endothelial progenitor cells. Circulating endothelial progenitor cells are involved in the repair process of the endothelium after endothelial-cell injury in myocardial ischemia, angina and other stressful situations. Recent studies have demonstrated an inverse relationship between the EPC count in peripheral blood and risk of developing a cardiovascular event. In addition, circulating EPC correlates with the presence of endothelial dysfunction and could play a role as a surrogate biologic marker in vascular function. The effect of statins on endothelial progenitor cells might contribute to improve endothelial function leading to a decrease in vascular risk, independently of their impact on LDL cholesterol. In this paper, we review the role of statins in EPC mobilization, its effect in endothelial function restoration and the relevance of this finding in cardiovascular risk. We also review future therapeutic implications.

Keywords: Statins, endothelial function, endothelial progenitor cells, nitric oxide, Akt pathway

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Article Details

Year: 2007
Page: [265 - 272]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/187152507782109836
Price: $65

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