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Microparticles, vascular function and hypertension

Boulanger, Chantal Ma,b

Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension: March 2010 - Volume 19 - Issue 2 - p 177–180
doi: 10.1097/MNH.0b013e32833640fd
Pathophysiology of hypertension: Edited by Rhian M. Touyz

Purpose of review To summarize the potential role of microparticles in hypertension and in cardiovascular diseases. Microparticles are submicron vesicles shed from the membrane in response to cell activation or apoptosis. Microparticles of different cellular origins are found in the plasma of healthy individuals and their circulating levels augment in patients with cardiovascular diseases.

Recent findings Recent studies demonstrate that circulating levels of microparticles originating from endothelial cells, which represent a small fraction of the overall pool of plasma microparticles, augment with increased endothelial dysfunction in patients with cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, endothelial microparticles constitute an emerging surrogate marker of endothelial dysfunction, with potential prognostic value for major adverse events in patients with cardiovascular diseases. In addition, microparticles of endothelial and other cellular origins are also potential biological effectors in inflammation, vascular injury, angiogenesis and thrombosis.

Summary In summary, circulating endothelial microparticles may serve not only as an index of arterial damage but also as a trigger of vascular repair.

aINSERM U970, Paris Cardiovascular Research Center – PARCC, France

bUniversité Paris Descartes, UMR-S970, Paris, France

Correspondence to Chantal M. Boulanger, PhD, Paris-Cardiovascular Research Center, INSERM UMR 970, 56 rue Leblanc, 75373 Paris cedex 15, France Tel: +33 1 5398 8086; e-mail:

© 2010 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins