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Neurol Res. 2009 Oct;31(8):799-806. doi: 10.1179/016164109X12445505689526.

Potential roles of cell-derived microparticles in ischemic brain disease.

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Wallace H Coulter Platelet Laboratory, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33136, USA.



The objective of this study is to review the role of cell-derived microparticles in ischemic cerebrovascular diseases.


An extensive PubMed search of literature pertaining to this study was performed in April 2009 using specific keyword search terms related to cell-derived microparticles and ischemic stroke. Some references are not cited here as it is not possible to be all inclusive or due to space limitation.


Cell-derived microparticles are small membranous vesicles released from the plasma membranes of platelets, leukocytes, red cells and endothelial cells in response to diverse biochemical agents or mechanical stresses. They are the main carriers of circulating tissue factor, the principal initiator of intravascular thrombosis, and are implicated in a variety of thrombotic and inflammatory disorders. This review outlines evidence suggesting that cell-derived microparticles are involved predominantly with microvascular, as opposed to macrovascular, thrombosis. More specifically, cell-derived microparticles may substantially contribute to ischemic brain disease in several settings, as well as to neuroinflammatory conditions.


If further work confirms this hypothesis, novel therapeutic strategies for minimizing cell-derived microparticles-mediated ischemia are available or can be developed, as discussed.

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