High altitude and hypoxia are known to induce polycythemia, pulmonary hypertension, and vascular remodeling. The authors investigated a number of blood cell populations in 15 mountain trekkers before and after 12 days spent at >3000 m. Red blood cell and platelet count increased, whereas circulating hematopoietic stem cell (enumerated as CD34bright cells), circulating endothelial cell (CEC) and circulating endothelial progenitor (CEP) count significantly decreased. In particular, the authors observed a decrease in the count of viable CECs, and a decrease in the circulating levels of RNA of the endothelial-specific gene VE-cadherin, whereas the fraction of apoptotic/necrotic CECs was stable. These data suggest a unique pattern of modulation of surrogate markers of vascular remodeling induced by exposure to hypobaric hypoxia.
- Circulating Endothelial Cells
- Circulating Endothelial Progenitors
- Hematopoietic Progenitors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology