Endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) mobilization has been reported following tissue damage, whereas no data are available regarding the mobilization of hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs). We performed the phenotypic and functional analysis of circulating CD34+ progenitor cells in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), assessed from admission up to 60 days, in patients with stable angina pectoris (SA), and in healthy controls (CTRLs). In patients with AMI at admission (T0), the number of circulating CD34 + cells was higher (P <.001) than in CTRLs and became comparable with CTRLs within 60 days. Both the number of CD34 + cells coexpressing CD33, CD38, or CD117 and the number of HPCs was higher (P <.02 for all) in patients with AMI at T0 than in CTRLs, as was the number of hematopoietic colonies (P ≤ .03). Patients with AMI (TO) had a significantly increased number of CD34 + vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2-positive (VEGFR-2 +) cells (P <.002) with respect to CTRLs, including CD34 + CD133 +VEGFR-2 + and CD34 + CD117 + VEGFR-2 + EPCs. The number of endothelial colonies was higher in patients with AMI (T0) than in CTRLs (P <.05). No significant difference was documented between patients with SA and CTRLs. Spontaneous mobilization of both HPCs and EPCs occurs within a few hours from the onset of AMI and is detectable until 2 months.
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