Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are vital for the maintenance and repair of the endothelium. Decreased EPC number and function have been associated with increased cardiovascular (CVD) risk. Patients with diabetes have decreased number of circulating EPCs and decreased EPC function. This may account for some of the increased CVD risk seen in patients with diabetes that is not explained by traditional risk factors such as glycemic control, dyslipidemia and hypertension. Recent studies seem to indicate that drugs commonly used in diabetes patients such as metformin, thiazolidinediones, GLP-1 agonists, DPP-4 inhibitors, insulin, statins and ACE inhibitors may increase EPC number and improve EPC function. The mechanisms by which these drugs modulate EPC function may involve reduction in inflammation, oxidative stress and insulin resistance as well as an increase in nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability. This review will discuss the evidence in the literature regarding the above mentioned topics.
- Drug effect
- Endothelial progenitor cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism