Journal of Neurosurgery, Ahead of Print.
OBJECTIVEMoyamoya disease (MMD) is a unique cerebrovascular disorder characterized by the progressive occlusion of the bilateral internal carotid arteries. Endothelial colony-forming cells (ECFCs), previously termed “endothelial progenitor cells,” play an important role in the pathogenesis of MMD. In this study, the authors performed morphological and functional studies of the mitochondria of ECFCs from patients with MMD to present new insights into the pathogenesis of the disease.METHODSThe morphology of ECFCs from 5 MMD patients and 5 healthy controls was examined under both a transmission electron microscope and a confocal laser scanning microscope. The oxygen consumption rates (OCRs), mitochondrial membrane potentials (MMPs), intracellular Ca2+ concentrations, mitochondrial enzyme activities, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were measured. Functional activity of the ECFCs was evaluated using a capillary tube formation assay.RESULTSThe ECFCs from the MMD patients displayed a disrupted mitochondrial morphology, including a shorter and more circular shape. The ECFC mitochondria from the MMD patients exhibited functional abnormalities, which were assessed as a decreased OCR and an increased intracellular Ca2+ concentration. Moreover, the ECFCs from MMD patients showed increased ROS levels. Interestingly, treatment with an ROS scavenger not only reversed the mitochondrial abnormalities but also restored the angiogenic activity of the ECFCs from the MMD patients.CONCLUSIONSThe mitochondria of ECFCs from MMD patients, as compared with those from healthy patients, exhibited morphological and functional abnormalities. This finding suggests that the mitochondrial abnormalities may have a role in the pathogenesis of MMD.