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J Exp Med. 2009 Aug 31;206(9):1913-27. doi: 10.1084/jem.20082297. Epub 2009 Aug 10.

Cancer cell-derived microparticles bearing P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1 accelerate thrombus formation in vivo.

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Institut National de Santé et de Recherche Médicale (INSERM) UMR911, Centre de Recherche en Oncologie Biologique et Oncopharmacologie, 13385 Marseille, France.


Recent publications have demonstrated the presence of tissue factor (TF)-bearing microparticles (MPs) in the blood of patients suffering from cancer. However, whether these MPs are involved in thrombosis remains unknown. We show that pancreatic and lung cancer cells produce MPs that express active TF and P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1 (PSGL-1). Cancer cell-derived MPs aggregate platelets via a TF-dependent pathway. In vivo, cancer cell-derived MPs, but not their parent cells, infused into a living mouse accumulate at the site of injury and reduce tail bleeding time and the time to occlusion of venules and arterioles. This thrombotic state is also observed in mice developing tumors. In such mice, the amount of circulating platelet-, endothelial cell-, and cancer cell-derived MPs is increased. Endogenous cancer cell-derived MPs shed from the growing tumor are able to accumulate at the site of injury. Infusion of a blocking P-selectin antibody abolishes the thrombotic state observed after injection of MPs or in mice developing a tumor. Collectively, our results indicate that cancer cell-derived MPs bearing PSGL-1 and TF play a key role in thrombus formation in vivo. Targeting these MPs could be of clinical interest in the prevention of thrombosis and to limit formation of metastasis in cancer patients.

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