Circulation research

Proapoptotic, antimigratory, antiproliferative, and antiangiogenic effects of commercial C-reactive protein on various human endothelial cell types in vitro: implications of contaminating presence of sodium azide in commercial preparation.

PMID 15976313


Recent experimental studies suggest C-reactive protein (CRP) may be a potential mediator of atherosclerosis and its complications. However, there is growing criticism of in vitro CRP studies that use commercial CRP preparations containing biologically active contaminants. The effects of commercial CRP, dialyzed commercial CRP (dCRP) to remove azide, and sodium azide (NaN3) alone at equivalent concentrations to the undialyzed preparation were tested at varying concentrations on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), circulating endothelial outgrowth cells (EOC), and endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) in vitro. CRP and NaN3 alone exhibited equivalent concentration-dependent, proapoptotic effects on HUVEC, EOC, and EPC (P<0.01 versus control), whereas dCRP had no such effect. Similarly, CRP and NaN3 alone caused equivalent concentration-dependent decreases in migration, proliferation, and matrigel tube formation (P<0.01 versus control) in EOC and HUVEC, whereas dCRP had absolutely no effect on these biological functions at any of the concentrations used. We conclude that proapoptotic, antiproliferative, antimigratory, and antiangiogenic effects of this commercial CRP preparation on a number of endothelial cell phenotypes in culture may be explained by the presence of sodium azide in this preparation. This study has implications for interpretation of in vitro studies using CRP preparations containing azide at equivalent or higher concentrations.