Open Access Research article

Comparison of endothelial progenitor cell function in type 2 diabetes with good and poor glycemic control

Worachat Churdchomjan1, Pakpoom Kheolamai1, Sirikul Manochantr1, Pirath Tapanadechopone1, Chairat Tantrawatpan1, Yaowalak U-pratya2 and Surapol Issaragrisil2*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Cell Biology, Department of Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand

2 Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10700, Thailand

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BMC Endocrine Disorders 2010, 10:5  doi:10.1186/1472-6823-10-5

Published: 7 April 2010



Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) play an important role in vascular repair and a decrease in the number of EPCs is observed in type 2 diabetes. However, there is no report on the change of EPCs after glycemic control. This study therefore aimed to investigate the EPC number and function in patients with good and poor glycemic control.


The number of EPCs was studied using flow cytometry by co-expression of CD34 and VEGFR2. The EPCs were cultured and characterized by the expression of UEA-I, CD34, VEGFR2, vWF and Dil-Ac-LDL engulfment, as well as the ability to form capillary-like structures. An in vitro study on the effect of hyperglycemia on the proliferation and viability of the cultured EPCs was also performed.


The number of EPCs in type 2 diabetes was significantly decreased compared with healthy controls and there was an inverse correlation between the EPC numbers and plasma glucose, as well as HbA1C. The number and function of EPCs in patients with good glycemic control were recovered compared with those with poor glycemic control. When glucose was supplemented in the culture in vitro, there was a negative effect on the proliferation and viability of EPCs, in a dose-dependent manner, whereas the enhancement of apoptosis was observed.


There was EPC dysfunction in type 2 diabetes which might be improved by strict glycemic control. However, the circulating EPC number and proliferative function in patients with good glycemic control did not reach the level in healthy controls.