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Keywords:

  • microparticles;
  • endothelium;
  • flow;
  • leukocytes;
  • red blood cells

Abstract

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is now the largest killer in western society, and the importance of interactions between vascular endothelium and circulating blood components in disease pathogenesis is well established. Microparticles are a heterogeneous population of <1 μm blood borne particles that arise from blebbing or shedding of cell membranes. The microparticle population includes several classes of apoptotic bodies; however, increased numbers of procoagulant microparticles have been described in plasma from people with CVD. We have previously demonstrated that interactions of monocytes and platelets with isolated inflamed endothelial cells lead to production of pro-coagulant tissue factor bearing microparticles under laminar flow conditions. Here we have investigated microparticle production after perfusion of human whole blood through intact inflamed human umbilical artery. When blood was perfused through umbilical arteries which had been pre-stimulated with tumour necrosis factor (TNFα) for 18 h under flow conditions, there was significantly increased production of microparticles from both platelet and non-platelet sources, in particular from erythrocytes. To determine whether microparticles generated during interactions with inflamed endothelium could induce a pro-inflammatory response in trans, we isolated microparticles by centrifugation after co-culture and incubated with isolated quiescent endothelial cells followed by measurement of reactive oxygen species formation. Microparticles derived from co-culture with inflamed endothelium induced significantly enhanced levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These data suggest that presence of an inflamed endothelium causes release of pro-inflammatory microparticles from circulating blood cells, which could contribute to prolonged endothelial activation and subsequent atherosclerotic changes in blood vessels subjected to inflammatory insult. © 2011 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry