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Title: The influence of age, cardiorespiratory fitness, exercise and sedentary behaviours on circulating angiogenic cells and cell surface receptor expression
Author: Ross, Mark D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5916 451X
Awarding Body: Edinburgh Napier University
Current Institution: Edinburgh Napier University
Date of Award: 2016
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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the biggest killer of people in western civilisation. Age is a significant risk factor for the development for CVD, and treatments and therapies to address this increased risk are crucial to quality of life and longevity. Exercise is one such intervention which has been shown to reduce CVD risk. Age is also associated with endothelial dysfunction, reduced angiogenic capabilities, and reduced ability to repair the vessel wall. Circulating angiogenic cells (CACs) are a subset of circulating cells which assist in the repair and growth of the vasculature and in the maintenance of endothelial function. Reductions in these cells are observed in those with vascular disease compared to age-matched healthy controls. Exercise may reduce CVD risk by improvements in number and/or function of these CACs. Data was collected from human volunteers of various ages, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) levels and latent viral infection history status to investigate the effects of chronological age, CRF, viral serology and other lifestyle factors, such as sedentary behaviours and exercise on CACs. The levels of CACs in these volunteers were measured using four colour flow cytometry using various monoclonal antibodies specific to cell surface markers that are used to identify specific subsets of these CACs. In addition, the response to acute exercise of a specific subset of these CACs, termed ‘angiogenic T-cells' (TANG) were investigated, in a group of well-trained males aged 20-40 years, using a strenuous submaximal exercise bout. Advancing age was associated with a decline in various subsets of CACs, including bone marrow-derived CD34+ progenitors, putative endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and also TANG cells. Individuals with a higher CRF were more likely to have higher circulating numbers of TANG cells, particularly in the CD4+ subset. CRF did not appear to modulate CD34+ progenitors or EPC subsets. Increasing sitting time was associated with reduction in TANG cells, but after correcting for the effects of fitness, sitting time no longer negatively affected the circulating number of these cells. Acute exercise was a powerful stimulus for increasing the number of TANG cells (140% increase), potentially through an SDF-1:CXCR4-dependent mechanism, but more studies are required to investigate this. Latent CMV infection was associated with higher number of TANG cells (CD8+), but only in 18-40 year old individuals, and not in an older age group (41-65 year old). The significance of this has yet to be understood. In conclusion, advancing age may contribute to increased CVD risk partly due to the observed reductions in angiogenic cells circulating in the peripheral compartment. Maintaining a high CRF may attenuate this CVD reduction by modulating TANG cell number, but potentially not CD34+ progenitor or EPC subsets. Acute exercise may offer a short window for vascular adaptation through the mobilisation of TANG cells into the circulation.
Supervisor: Florida-James, Geraint Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine