Circulating endothelial cells as biomarker for cardiovascular diseases
Author(s): ,
Maura Farinacci
Affiliations:
Institute for Medical Immunology, Charité University of Medicine, Berlin, Germany. Berlin‐Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies, Charité University of Medicine, Berlin, Germany. Core Unit Immunocheck and Biomarkers, Development and Exploration Lab, Charité University of Medicine, Berlin, Germany
Correspondence |Maura Farinacci, Institute for Medical Immunology, Charité University of Medicine, Berlin, Germany.|Email: maura.farinacci@googlemail.com
,
Thomas Krahn
Affiliations:
Biomarker Research, Bayer AG, Berlin, Germany
,
Wilfried Dinh
Affiliations:
Drug Discovery, Clinical Sciences, Experimental Medicine, Bayer AG, Wuppertal, Germany. Department of Cardiology, HELIOS Clinic Wuppertal, University Hospital Witten/Herdecke, Wuppertal, Germany
,
Hans‐Dieter Volk
Affiliations:
Institute for Medical Immunology, Charité University of Medicine, Berlin, Germany. Berlin‐Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies, Charité University of Medicine, Berlin, Germany. Core Unit Immunocheck and Biomarkers, Development and Exploration Lab, Charité University of Medicine, Berlin, Germany
,
Hans‐Dirk Düngen
Affiliations:
Medical Department, Division of Cardiology, Charité University of Medicine, Berlin, Germany
,
Josephine Wagner
Affiliations:
Medical Department, Division of Cardiology, Charité University of Medicine, Berlin, Germany
,
Timo Konen
Affiliations:
Department of NanoBiophotonics, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Gottingen, Germany
Oliver Ahsen
Affiliations:
Biomarker Research, Bayer AG, Berlin, Germany
ISTH Academy. Farinacci . Jan 15, 2019; 273419
Correspondence |Maura Farinacci

Correspondence
|Maura  Farinacci
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Journal Abstract
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Background
Endothelial dysfunction is involved in several cardiovascular diseases. Elevated levels of circulating endothelial cells (CECs) and low levels of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have been described in different cardiovascular conditions, suggesting their potential use as diagnostic biomarkers for endothelial dysfunction. Compared to typical peripheral blood leukocyte subsets, CECs and EPCs occur at very low frequency. The reliable identification and characterization of CECs and EPCs is a prerequisite for their clinical use, however, a validated method to this purpose is still missing but a key for rare cell events.
Objectives
To establish a validated flow cytometric procedure in order to quantify CECs and EPCs in human whole blood.
Methods
In the establishment phase, the assay sensitivity, robustness, and the sample storage conditions were optimized as prerequisite for clinical use. In a second phase, CECs and EPCs were analyzed in heart failure with preserved (HFpEF) and reduced (HFrEF) ejection fraction, in arterial hypertension (aHT), and in diabetic nephropathy (DN) in comparison to age‐matched healthy controls.
Results
The quantification procedure for CECs and EPCs showed high sensitivity and reproducibility. CEC values resulted significantly increased in patients with DN and HFpEF in comparison to healthy controls. CEC quantification showed a diagnostic sensitivity of 90% and a sensitivity of 68.0%, 70.4%, and 66.7% for DN, HFpEF, and aHT, respectively.
Conclusion
A robust and precise assay to quantify CECs and EPCs in pre‐clinical and clinical studies has been established. CEC counts resulted to be a good diagnostic biomarker for DN and HFpEF.
Keyword(s)
biomarkers, cardiovascular diseases, endothelial cells, endothelial progenitor cells, flow cytometry
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