Background--The response of progenitor cells (PCs) to transient myocardial ischemia in patients with coronary artery disease remains unknown. We aimed to investigate the PC response to exercise-induced myocardial ischemia (ExMI) and compare it to flow mismatch during pharmacological stress testing. Methods and Results--A total of 356 patients with stable coronary artery disease underwent 99mTc-sestamibi myocardial perfusion imaging during exercise (69%) or pharmacological stress (31%). CD34+ and CD34+/chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4 PCs were enumerated by flow cytometry. Change in PC count was compared between patients with and without myocardial ischemia using linear regression models. Vascular endothelial growth factor and stromal-derived factor-1α were quantified. Mean age was 63±9 years; 76% were men. The incidence of ExMI was 31% and 41% during exercise and pharmacological stress testing, respectively. Patients with ExMI had a significant decrease in CD34+/chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4 (-18%, P = 0.01) after stress that was inversely correlated with the magnitude of ischemia (r = -0.19, P=0.003). In contrast, patients without ExMI had an increase in CD34+/chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4 (14.7%, P = 0.02), and those undergoing pharmacological stress had no change. Plasma vascular endothelial growth factor levels increased (15%, P < 0.001) in all patients undergoing exercise stress testing regardless of ischemia. However, the change in stromal-derived factor-1α level correlated inversely with the change in PC counts in those with ExMI (P = 0.03), suggesting a greater decrease in PCs in those with a greater change in stromal-derived factor- 1α level with exercise. Conclusions--ExMI is associated with a significant decrease in circulating levels of CD34+/chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4 PCs, likely attributable, at least in part, to stromal-derived factor-1α-mediated homing of PCs to the ischemic myocardium. The physiologic consequences of this uptake of PCs and their therapeutic implications need further investigation.
- Coexpression of chemokine receptor 4
- Progenitor cell
- Stromal-derived factor
- Vascular endothelial growth factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine