Circulating blood CD34+ cells consist of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, angiogenic cells, and endothelial cells. In addition to their clinical use in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, CD34+ cells may also promote therapeutic neovascularization. Therefore, understanding the factors that influence circulating CD34+ cell frequency has wide implications for vascular biology in addition to stem cell transplantation. In the present study, we examined the clinical and genetic characteristics associated with circulating CD34+ cell frequency in a large, community-based sample of 1786 Framing-ham Heart Study participants. Among subjects without cardiovascular disease (n = 1595), CD34+ frequency was inversely related to older age, female sex, and smoking. CD34+ frequency was positively related to weight, serum total cholesterol, and statin therapy. Clinical covariates accounted for 6.3% of CD34+ variability. CD34+ frequency was highly heritable (h2 = 54%; P <.0001). Genome-wide association analysis of CD34+ frequency identified suggestive associations at several loci, including OR4C12 (chromosome 11; P= 6.7 × 10-7) and ENO1 and RERE (chromosome 1; P= 8.8 × 10-7). CD34+ cell frequency is reduced in older subjects and is influenced by environmental factors including smoking and statin use. CD34+ frequency is highly heritable. The results of the present study have implications for therapies that use CD34+ cell populations and support efforts to better understand the genetic mechanisms that underlie CD34+ frequency.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology