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The impact of different forms of exercise on endothelial progenitor cells in healthy populations

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Panagiotis Ferentinos
  • Costas Tsakirides
  • Michelle Swainson
  • Adam Davison
  • Marrissa Martyn-St James
  • Theocharis Ispoglou
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/07/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>European Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number7
Number of pages37
Pages (from-to)1589-1625
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date19/03/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) contribute to vascular healing and neovascularisation, while exercise is an effective means to mobilise EPCs into the circulation. Obhjectives: to systematically examine the acute and chronic effects of different forms of exercise on circulating EPCs in healthy populations. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses guidelines were followed. thirty-one articles met the inclusion criteria including 747 participants aged 19 to 76 years. All included trials used flow cytometry for identification of circulating EPCs. Eight and five different EPC phenotypes were identified in the acute and chronic trials, respectively. In the acute trials, moderate intensity continuous (MICON), maximal, prolonged endurance, resistance and high intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise protocols were utilised. Prolonged endurance and resistance exercise had the most profound effect on circulating EPCs followed by maximal exercise. In the chronic trials, MICON exercise, HIIT, HIIT compared to MICON and MICON compared to exergame (exercise modality based on an interactive video game) were identified. MICON exercise had a positive effect on circulating EPCs in older sedentary individuals which was accompanied by improvements in endothelial function and arterial stiffness. Long-stage HIIT (4 min bouts) appears to be an effective means and superior than MICON exercise in mobilising circulating EPCs. In conclusion, both in acute and chronic trials the degree of exercise-induced EPC mobilisation depends upon the exercise regime applied. In future, more research is warranted to examine the dose-response relationship of different exercise forms on circulating EPCs using standardised methodology and EPC phenotype.