Circulating Bone Marrow-Derived CD45−/CD34+/CD133+/VEGF+ Endothelial Progenitor Cells in Adults with Crohn’s Disease

Doron Boltin, Zvi Kamenetsky, Tsachi Tsadok Perets, Yifat Snir, Boris Sapoznikov, Hemda Schmilovitz-Weiss, Jacob Nadav Ablin, Ram Dickman, Yaron Niv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are bone marrow-derived stem cells able to migrate to sites of damaged endothelium and differentiate into endothelial cells. Altered EPC level and function have been described in various inflammatory diseases and have been shown to augment vasculogenesis in murine models. Previous studies of EPC in the context of Crohn’s disease (CD) have yielded conflicting results. Aim: To determine whether the circulating levels of EPCs are changed in the context of CD. Methods: CD patients and healthy controls were recruited. Disease activity was assessed by CDAI. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated and EPC numbers evaluated by FACS analysis using anti-CD34, anti-VEGF receptor-2, anti-CD133, and anti-CD45 markers. Results: Eighty-three subjects, including 32 CD patients and 51 controls were recruited, including 19 (59.4 %) and 23 (45 %) males (p = 0.26), aged 34.8 ± 14.9 and 43.3 ± 18.5 years (p = 0.64), in cases and controls, respectively. Mean CDAI was 147 ± 97, disease duration was 12.7 ± 11.1 years, and 28 (87.5 %) were receiving biologics for a mean duration of 21.7 ± 16.8 months. The mean level of peripheral EPCs in CD patients was 0.050 ± 0.086 percent and 0.007 ± 0.013 % in controls (p < 0.01). There was no significant correlation between EPC levels and age (r = −0.13, p = 0.47), CDAI (r = −0.26, p = 0.15), disease duration (r = −0.04, p = 0.84), or duration of treatment with biologics (r = 0.004, p = 0.99). Conclusion: EPCs are elevated in patients with CD. Further studies are needed to examine the function of EPCs and their possible role as a marker of disease severity or therapeutic response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-638
Number of pages6
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Bone marrow
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Endothelial progenitor cell
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Stem cell


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