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Sartans Increase Endothelial Progenitor Cells in Diabetics

This could represent a new therapeutic effect for angiotensin II receptor antagonists.

Treatment with angiotensin II receptor antagonists increases the number of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in patients with type 2 diabetes, new research shows. Because EPCs play a key role in vascular repair, this could represent a new therapeutic effect for this class of drugs.

The findings, are based on a study of 18 patients with type 2 diabetes who were randomized to receive olmesartan or placebo for 12 weeks. Circulating EPCs levels were determined before and after therapy.

Compared with EPC levels in 38 healthy control subjects, the diabetic patients had decreased levels at baseline, Dr. Ferdinand H. Bahlmann and colleagues, from Hannover Medical School in Germany, report.

Treatment with olmesartan, but not placebo, was associated with a significant increase in EPC levels, the findings show. By contrast, olmesartan therapy had no effect on levels of hematopoietic progenitor cells.

In a second open trial, the authors evaluated the effects of irbesartan therapy on EPC levels in 20 patients with type 2 diabetes. After just 4 weeks of therapy, a significant rise in EPC levels was observed.

"Standard therapy with angiotensin II receptor antagonists increases the number of regenerative EPCs in patients with type 2 diabetes
Hypertension, April 2005