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1. Recent studies have revealed an association between coronary risk factors and both the number and function of bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPC). We investigated the effect of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) on the senescence of EPC, leading to cellular dysfunction.

2. Endothelial progenitor cells were isolated from human peripheral blood and characterized. The exposure of cultured EPC to ox-LDL (10 µg/mL) significantly accelerated the rate of senescence compared with control during 20 days in culture as determined by acidic β-galactosidase staining. Oxidized LDL-induced EPC senescence was significantly inhibited by pretreatment with either lectin-like ox-LDL receptor-1 (LOX-1) antibody (Ab) or atorvastatin (P < 0.01).

3. Because cellular senescence is critically influenced by telomerase, which elongates telomeres, we measured telomerase activity using a polymerase chain reaction–ELISA-based assay. Oxidized LDL significantly diminished telomerase activity to approximately 50%, an effect that was significantly abolished by pretreatment with either LOX-1 Ab or atorvastatin (P < 0.01).

4. We examined whether ox-LDL-induced EPC senescence translates into EPC dysfunction. An MTS assay disclosed an inhibitory effect of ox-LDL on EPC proliferation. In a Matrigel assay, EPC treated with ox-LDL were less likely to participate in network fomation compared with controls.

5. In conclusions, ox-LDL accelerates the onset of EPC senescence, which may be related to telomerase inactivation. Oxidized LDL-induced EPC senescence leads to the impairment of proliferative capacity and network formation.
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Keywords: endothelial progenitor cells; oxidized low-density lipoprotein; senescence; telomerase activity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama and 2: National Cardiovascular Center Research Institute, Suita, Osaka, Japan

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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