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Keywords:

  • microparticles;
  • biomarkers;
  • cardiovascular diseases

Abstract

  • • 
    Introduction
  • • 
    Microparticle formation, structure and composition
    • - 
      Microparticle formation
    • - 
      Microparticle composition and structure
  • • 
    Microparticle isolation, preparation and measurement
    • - 
      Microparticle preparation
      • - 
        Pre-analytical treatment of plasma
      • - 
        Microparticle isolation from tissues and fluids
      • - 
        Microparticle generation and isolation from cells in culture
    • - 
      Qualitative and quantitative MP analysis
      • - 
        Flow cytometry
      • - 
        ELISA assays
  • • 
    Microparticles as markers of cardiovascular diseases
  • • 
    Microparticles as actors in cardiovascular diseases
    • - 
      Microparticles in endothelial function and angiogenesis
    • - 
      Microparticles in inflammation
    • - 
      Microparticles in thrombosis
  • • 
    Pharmacological modulation of plasma MP concentrations
    • - 
      Statins
    • - 
      Anti-oxidants
    • - 
      Peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor activators
  • • 
    Conclusion

Cardiovascular diseases remain an important cause of morbi-mortality. Atherosclerosis, which predisposes to cardiovascular disorders such as myocardial infarction and stroke, develops silently over several decades. Identification of circulating biomarkers to evaluate cardiovascular event risk and pathology prognosis is of particular importance. Microparticles (MPs) are small vesicles released from cells upon apoptosis or activation. Microparticles are present in blood of healthy individuals. Studies showing a modification of their concentrations in patients with cardiovascular risk factors and after cardiovascular events identify MPs as potential biomarkers of disease. Moreover, the pathophysiological properties of MPs may contribute to atherosclerosis development. In addition, pharmacological compounds, used in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, can reduce plasma MP concentrations. Nevertheless, numerous issues remain to be solved before MP measurement can be applied as routine biological tests to improve cardiovascular risk prediction. In particular, prospective studies to identify the predictive values of MPs in pathologies such as cardiovascular diseases are needed to demonstrate whether MPs are useful biomarkers for the early detection of the disease and its progression.