International journal of cardiology

Short-term inhibition of DPP-4 enhances endothelial regeneration after acute arterial injury via enhanced recruitment of circulating progenitor cells.

PMID 25499391


Endothelial injuries regularly occur in atherosclerosis and during interventional therapies of the arterial occlusive disease. Disturbances in the endothelial integrity can lead to insufficient blood supply and bear the risk of thrombus formation and acute vascular occlusion. At present, effective therapeutics to restore endothelial integrity are barely available. We analyzed the effect of pharmacological DPP-4-inhibition by Sitagliptin on endogenous progenitor cell-based endothelial regeneration via the SDF-1α/CXCR4-axis after acute endothelial damage in a mouse model of carotid injury. Induction of a defined endothelial injury was performed in the carotid artery of C57Bl/6 mice which led to a local upregulation of SDF-1α expression. Animals were treated with placebo, Sitagliptin or Sitagliptin+AMD3100. Using mass spectrometry we could prove that Sitagliptin prevented cleavage of the chemokine SDF-1α. Accordingly, increased SDF-1α concentrations enhanced recruitment of systemically applied and endogenous circulating CXCR4+ progenitor cells to the site of vascular injury followed by a significantly accelerated reendothelialization as compared to placebo-treated animals. Improved endothelial recovery, as well as recruitment of circulating CXCR4+ progenitor cells (CD133+, Flk1+), was reversed by CXCR4-antagonization through AMD3100. In addition, short-term Sitagliptin treatment did not significantly promote neointimal or medial hyperplasia. Sitagliptin can accelerate endothelial regeneration after acute endothelial injury. DPP-4 inhibitors prevent degradation of the chemokine SDF-1α and thus improve the recruitment of regenerative circulating CXCR4+ progenitor cells which mediate local endothelial cell proliferation without adversely affecting vessel wall architecture.