Author(s): von VersenHynck F, Brodowski L, Dechend R, Myerski AC, Hubel CA
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Abstract CONTEXT: Endothelial dysfunction is a primary feature of preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication associated with an increased future cardiovascular risk for mother and offspring. Endothelial colony forming cells (ECFC) are endothelial progenitor cells that participate in vasculogenesis and endothelial repair. OBJECTIVE: We hypothesized that the number and functional properties of fetal cord blood-derived ECFCs are reduced in preeclampsia compared to uncomplicated pregnancy (controls), and asked if adverse effects of preeclampsia on ECFC function are reversed by 1,25 (OH)2 vitamin D3. DESIGN, SETTING, PATIENTS: This was a nested, case-control study. Forty women with uncomplicated pregnancy and 33 women with PE were recruited at Magee-Womens Hospital (USA) or at Hannover Medical School (Germany). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Time to ECFC colony appearance in culture, and number of colonies formed, were determined. Functional abilities of ECFCs were assessed in vitro by tubule formation in Matrigel assay, migration, and proliferation. ECFC function was tested in the presence or absence of 1,25 (OH)2 vitamin D3, and after vitamin D receptor (VDR) or VEGF signaling blockade. RESULTS: The number of cord ECFC colonies was lower (P = 0.04) in preeclampsia compared to controls. ECFCs from preeclampsia showed reduced proliferation (P<0.0001), formed fewer tubules (P = 0.02), and migrated less (P = 0.049) than control. Vitamin D3 significantly improved preeclampsia ECFC functional properties. VDR- or VEGF blockade reduced tubule formation, partially restorable by vitamin D3. CONCLUSION: Fetal ECFCs from preeclamptic pregnancies are reduced in number and dysfunctional. Vitamin D3 had rescuing effects. This may have implications for the increased cardiovascular risk associated with preeclampsia.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Clinical & Medical Biochemistry