BackgroundEndothelial progenitor cell (EPC) dysfunction contributes to vascular disease in diabetes mellitus. However, the molecular mechanism underlying EPC dysfunction and its contribution to delayed reendothelialization in diabetes mellitus remain unclear. Our study aimed to illustrate the potential molecular mechanism underlying diabetic EPC dysfunction in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, we assessed the effect of EPC transplantation on endothelial regeneration in diabetic rats.
MethodsLate outgrowth EPCs were isolated from the bone marrow of rats for in vivo and in vitro studies. In vitro functional assays and Western blotting were conducted to reveal the association between C-X-C chemokine receptor type 7 (CXCR7) expression and diabetic EPC dysfunction. To confirm the association between cellular CXCR7 levels and EPC function, CXCR7 expression in EPCs was upregulated and downregulated via lentiviral transduction and RNA interference, respectively. Western blotting was used to reveal the potential molecular mechanism by which the Stromal-Derived Factor-1 (SDF-1)/CXCR7 axis regulates EPC function. To elucidate the role of the SDF-1/CXCR7 axis in EPC-mediated endothelial regeneration, a carotid artery injury model was established in diabetic rats. After the model was established, saline-treated, diabetic, normal, or CXCR7-primed EPCs were injected via the tail vein.
ResultsDiabetic EPC dysfunction was associated with decreased CXCR7 expression. Furthermore, EPC dysfunction was mimicked by knockdown of CXCR7 in normal EPCs. However, upregulating CXCR7 expression reversed the dysfunction of diabetic EPCs. The SDF-1/CXCR7 axis positively regulated EPC function by activating the AKT-associated Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (keap-1)/nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) axis, which was reversed by blockade of AKT and Nrf2. Transplantation of CXCR7-EPCs accelerated endothelial repair and attenuated neointimal hyperplasia in diabetes mellitus more significantly than transplantation of diabetic or normal EPCs. However, the therapeutic effect of CXCR7-EPC transplantation on endothelial regeneration was reversed by knockdown of Nrf2 expression.
ConclusionsDysfunction of diabetic EPCs is associated with decreased CXCR7 expression. Furthermore, the SDF-1/CXCR7 axis positively regulates EPC function by activating the AKT/keap-1/Nrf2 axis. CXCR7-primed EPCs might be useful for endothelial regeneration in diabetes-associated vascular disease.
PROVIDER: S-EPMC8091720 | BioStudies |