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1.  Bench-to-bedside review: Circulating microparticles - a new player in sepsis? 
Critical Care  2010;14(5):236.
In sepsis, inflammation and thrombosis are both the cause and the result of interactions between circulating (for example, leukocytes and platelets), endothelial and smooth muscle cells. Microparticles are proinflammatory and procoagulant fragments originating from plasma membrane generated after cellular activation and released in body fluids. In the vessel, they constitute a pool of bioactive effectors pulled from diverse cellular origins and may act as intercellular messengers. Microparticles expose phosphatidylserine, a procoagulant phospholipid made accessible after membrane remodelling, and tissue factor, the initiator of blood coagulation at the endothelial and leukocyte surface. They constitute a secretion pathway for IL-1β and up-regulate the proinflammatory response of target cells. Microparticles circulate at low levels in healthy individuals, but undergo phenotypic and quantitative changes that could play a pathophysiological role in inflammatory diseases. Microparticles may participate in the pathogenesis of sepsis through multiple ways. They are able to regulate vascular tone and are potent vascular proinflammatory and procoagulant mediators. Microparticles' abilities are of increasing interest in deciphering the mechanisms underlying the multiple organ dysfunction of septic shock.
doi:10.1186/cc9231
PMCID: PMC3219244  PMID: 21067540
2.  Increased levels of circulating microparticles in primary Sjögren's syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis and relation with disease activity 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2009;11(5):R156.
Introduction
Cell stimulation leads to the shedding of phosphatidylserine (PS)-rich microparticles (MPs). Because autoimmune diseases (AIDs) are characterized by cell activation, we investigated level of circulating MPs as a possible biomarker in primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods
We measured plasma levels of total, platelet and leukocyte MPs by prothrombinase capture assay and flow cytometry in 43 patients with pSS, 20 with SLE and 24 with RA and in 44 healthy controls (HCs). Secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) activity was assessed by fluorometry. Soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L) and soluble P-selectin (sCD62P), reflecting platelet activation, were measured by ELISA.
Results
Patients with pSS showed increased plasma level of total MPs (mean ± SEM 8.49 ± 1.14 nM PS equivalent (Eq), P < 0.0001), as did patients with RA (7.23 ± 1.05 n PS Eq, P = 0.004) and SLE (7.3 ± 1.25 nM PS Eq, P = 0.0004), as compared with HCs (4.13 ± 0.2 nM PS Eq). Patients with AIDs all showed increased level of platelet MPs (P < 0.0001), but only those with pSS showed increased level of leukocyte MPs (P < 0.0001). Results by capture assay and flow cytometry were correlated. In patients with high disease activity according to extra-glandular complications (pSS), DAS28 (RA) or SLEDAI (SLE) compared with low-activity patients, the MP level was only slightly increased in comparison with those having a low disease activity. Platelet MP level was inversely correlated with anti-DNA antibody level in SLE (r = -0.65; P = 0.003) and serum β2 microglobulin level in pSS (r = -0.37; P < 0.03). The levels of total and platelet MPs were inversely correlated with sPLA2 activity (r = -0.37, P = 0.0007; r = -0.36, P = 0.002, respectively). sCD40L and sCD62P concentrations were significantly higher in pSS than in HC (P ≤ 0.006).
Conclusions
Plasma MP level is elevated in pSS, as well as in SLE and RA, and could be used as a biomarker reflecting systemic cell activation. Level of leukocyte-derived MPs is increased in pSS only. The MP level is low in case of more severe AID, probably because of high secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) activity, which leads to consumption of MPs. Increase of platelet-derived MPs, sCD40L and sCD62P, highlights platelet activation in pSS.
doi:10.1186/ar2833
PMCID: PMC2787287  PMID: 19832990

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