Objectives: Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) might play important roles in vascular homeostasis. This study evaluated the influence of prematurity, preeclampsia (PE) and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) on the EPC population in human umbilical cord blood (CB). Methods: CB was obtained from 19 preterm and 27 term deliveries. Mononuclear cells were isolated by gradient centrifugation and subjected to flow cytometry to obtain percentages of CD45(d) CD34+, CD45(d) CD133+, CD 45(d) CD34+ CD133+, and CD45(d) CD34+ CD133+ VEGFR-2+ cells. Clinical data were obtained using chart review. Results: Percentages of EPCs were comparable between preterm and term cord blood. CD45(d) CD34+ CD133+ cells were significantly decreased in CB samples obtained from women with PE (n = 14) [0.01, (0.002.6), [median, (range)], as compared to those without PE (n = 32) [1.74 (0.003.1)] (p = 0.005). CD45(d) CD133+ CD34- cells were significantly increased in presence of PE [0.43, (0.061.38)], (p = 0.002). CD45(d) CD34+ CD133+ cells were significantly decreased in presence of IUGR, with no change in CD45(d) CD133+ CD34- cells. Differences in EPC types associated with PE and IUGR were present only in term CB. Conclusions: Exposure to PE and IUGR is associated with significant changes in EPC population. Future studies are needed to explore the clinical impact of observed changes.
- Endothelial progenitor cells
- Human umbilical cord blood
- Intrauterine growth restriction
- Premature birth