C-reactive protein induces release of both endothelial microparticles and circulating endothelial cells in vitro and in vivo: Further evidence of endothelial dysfunction

Sridevi Devaraj, Pappanaicken R. Kumaresan, Ishwarlal Jialal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Inflammation is pivotal in atherosclerosis. A key early event in atherosclerosis is endothelial dysfunction. C-reactive protein (CRP), the prototypic marker of inflammation in humans, is a risk marker for cardiovascular disease, and there is mounting evidence to support its role in atherothrombosis. CRP has been shown to promote endothelial dysfunction both in vitro and in vivo. Emerging biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction include circulating endothelial cells (CECs) and endothelial microparticles (EMPs). However, there is a paucity of data examining the effect of CRP on CEC and EMP production in vitro and in vivo. METHODS: In this report, we treated human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs) with increasing concentrations of CRP (0-50 μg/mL) or boiled CRP. We counted CECs and EMPs by flow cytometry. RESULTS: Although CRP treatment resulted in a significant increase in release of both CECs and EMPs, boiled CRP failed to have an effect. Pretreatment of HAECs with sepiapterin or diethylenetriamine NONOate, both of which preserve nitric oxide (NO), resulted in attenuation of CRP's effects on CECs and EMPs. CD32 and CD64 blocking antibodies but not CD16 antibody or lectin-like oxidized LDL receptor 1 small interfering RNA (LOX-1 siRNA) prevented CRP-induced production of CECs and EMPs. Furthermore, delivery of human CRP to Wistar rats compared with human serum albumin resulted in significantly increased CECs and EMPs, corroborating the in vitro findings. CONCLUSIONS: We provide novel data that CRP, via NO deficiency, promotes endothelial dysfunction by inducing release of CECs and EMPs, which are biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1757-1761
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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