Effect of Ionizing Radiation Induced Damage of Endothelial Progenitor Cells in Vascular Regeneration
Objective—A number of studies have revealed that stress signaling and subsequent stress responses in stem/progenitor cells are responsible for attenuated regeneration or degenerative disease. Because ionizing radiation (IR), which sensitizes diverse types of stem cells, reportedly induces cardio-circulatory diseases, we hypothesized that IR-induced vascular abnormalities are associated with defects in endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) that are responsible for vascular homeostasis.
Methods and Results—We used an irradiated mouse model to mimic the IR effect on vasculogenesis. Mouse EPCs isolated from irradiated mice and human EPCs exposed to IR were used for functional analysis and gene expression study. Under IR exposure, EPCs were depleted, and their function for vasculogenesis in vitro and in vivo was significantly reduced. In such IR-mediated stress responses, upregulating p21Cip1 and downregulating vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were mediated by p53 transcriptional activity.
Conclusion—The results of the present study suggest that suppression of p53 would be clinically applicable to (1) minimize the functional defects in EPCs in order to prevent the onset of vascular diseases caused by radiation therapy or radiation exposure and also to (2) provide novel insight into the mechanisms of IR-induced vascular damage and a possible strategy to minimize vascular damage by IR.
- Received November 2, 2010.
- Accepted October 24, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.