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Small vesicles with great impact

Comment from the authors Paul Leeson and Nicolle Kränkel, EACPR Exercise, Basic and Translational Research Section

1] Dynamic Release and Clearance of Circulating Microparticles During Cardiac Stress
D. Augustine, L.V. Ayers, E. Lima, L. Newton, A.J. Lewandowski, E.F. Davis, B. Ferry, P. Leeson
Circulation Research; doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.114.301904  

2] Dynamic microvesicle release and clearance within the cardiovascular system: triggers and mechanisms
L. Ayers, R. Nieuwland, M. Kohler, N. Kraenkel, B. Ferry, P. Leeson
Clin Sci (Lond). 2015. doi: 10.1042/CS20140623.


Several years ago small pieces of cells, called microvesicles (or microparticles), were observed within human blood. It was realised these were being actively released by cells into the circulation and may be acting as a means of communication between cells. There has been rapidly increasing interest ever since in whether these particles could be used for cardiovascular diagnostics or therapeutics.

Microvesicles have often been measured in the circulation at a single time point. However, several papers have now shown that microvesicle levels both increase and decrease rapidly in response to certain stimuli such as hypoxia, acute cardiac stress, shear stress, hypertriglyceridaemia and inflammation [1]. Levels of circulating microvesicles therefore likely reflect a balance between dynamic mechanisms for release and clearance. Understanding what drives these changes may give new insights into how cells communicate and what this tells us about different disease states. A recently published collaborative review article [2] including members of the EBTR section of the EACPR has for the first time provided a detailed overview of these mechanisms. The information will help guide development of experiments that seek to identify potential underlying biological mechanisms that might drive increases or decreases in circulating microvesicle levels as well as help design future clinical studies.

Also of interest:

"How to measure microparticles in prevention and rehabilitation"
Nicolle Kraenkel answers key questions on behalf of the Exercise, Basic and Translational Research Section


The content of this article reflects the personal opinion of the author/s and is not necessarily the official position of the European Society of Cardiology