High glucose–induced endothelial progenitor cell dysfunction

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Vascular complications contribute significantly to morbidity and mortality of diabetes mellitus. The primary cause of vascular complications in diabetes mellitus is hyperglycaemia, associated with endothelial dysfunction and impaired neovascularization. Circulating endothelial progenitor cells was shown to play important roles in vascular repair and promoting neovascularization. In this review, we will demonstrate the individual effect of high glucose on endothelial progenitor cells. Endothelial progenitor cells isolated from healthy subjects exposed to high glucose conditions or endothelial progenitor cells isolated from diabetic patients exhibit reduced number of endothelial cell colony forming units, impaired abilities of differentiation, proliferation, adhesion and migration, tubulization, secretion, mobilization and homing, whereas enhanced senescence. Increased production of reactive oxygen species by the mitochondria seems to play a crucial role in high glucose–induced endothelial progenitor cells deficit. Later, we will review the agents that might be used to alleviate dysfunction of endothelial progenitor cells induced by high glucose. The conclusions are that the relationship between hyperglycaemia and endothelial progenitor cells dysfunction is only beginning to be recognized, and future studies should pay more attention to the haemodynamic environment of endothelial progenitor cells and ageing factors to discover novel treatment agents.

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