Effects of acute exercise on circulating endothelial and progenitor cells in children and adolescents with juvenile idiopathic arthritis and healthy controls: a pilot study
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BACKGROUND: Youth with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) may be at risk of poor cardiovascular health. Circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and circulating endothelial cells (CECs) are markers of cardiovascular repair and damage, respectively, and respond to exercise. The objectives of this study were to compare resting levels of EPCs and CECs in JIA and controls, and to assess the effects of distinct types of exercise on EPCs and CECs in JIA and controls. METHODS: Seven youth with JIA and six controls completed 3 visits. First, aerobic fitness was assessed. Participants then performed either moderate intensity, continuous exercise (MICE) or high intensity, intermittent exercise (HIIE) on separate days. Blood samples were collected at the beginning (REST), mid-point (MID) and end of exercise (POST) for determination of EPCs (CD31(+)CD34(bright)CD45(dim)CD133(+)) and CECs (CD31(bright)CD34(+)CD45(-)CD133(-)) by flow cytometry. Between group differences in EPCs and CECs were examined using two-way ANOVA, followed by Tukey's HSD post hoc, where appropriate. Statistical significance set at p ≤ 0.05. RESULTS: Both EPCs and CECs were similar between groups at REST (p = 0.18-0.94). During MICE, EPCs remained unchanged in JIA (p = 0.95) but increased significantly at POST in controls (REST: 0.91 ± 0.55 × 10(6) cells/L vs. POST: 1.53 ± 0.36 × 10(6) cells/L, p = 0.04). Compared with controls, lower levels of EPCs were observed in JIA at MID (0.48 ± 0.50 × 10(6) cells/L vs. 1.10 ± 0.39 × 10(6) cells/L, p = 0.01) and POST (0.38 ± 0.34 × 10(6) cells/L vs. 1.53 ± 0.36 × 10(6) cells/L, p < 0.001) during MICE. No changes were detected in CECs with MICE in JIA and controls (p = 0.69). Neither EPCs nor CECs were modified with HIIE (p = 0.28-0.69). CONCLUSION: Youth with JIA demonstrated a blunted EPC response to MICE when compared with controls. Future work should examine factors that may increase or normalize EPC mobilization in JIA.
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