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Atherosclerosis. 2014 Jun;234(2):295-302. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2014.03.019. Epub 2014 Mar 27.

Endothelial microparticles as conveyors of information in atherosclerotic disease.

Author information

1
Regional Vascular and Endovascular Unit, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL, UK; Cardiovascular Research Institute, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, University of Manchester, Core Technology Facility, 46 Grafton Street, Manchester M13 9MT, UK. Electronic address: andrew.schiro@cmft.nhs.uk.
2
Translational Science, Healthcare Science Research Institute, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Manchester Metropolitan University, John Dalton Building, Chester Street, Manchester M1 5GD, UK.
3
Regional Vascular and Endovascular Unit, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL, UK.
4
Regional Vascular and Endovascular Unit, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL, UK; Cardiovascular Research Institute, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, University of Manchester, Core Technology Facility, 46 Grafton Street, Manchester M13 9MT, UK.
5
Cardiovascular Research Institute, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, University of Manchester, Core Technology Facility, 46 Grafton Street, Manchester M13 9MT, UK; Translational Science, Healthcare Science Research Institute, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Manchester Metropolitan University, John Dalton Building, Chester Street, Manchester M1 5GD, UK.

Abstract

Endothelial microparticles (EMPs) are complex submicron membrane-shed vesicles released into the circulation following endothelium cell activation or apoptosis. They are classified as either physiological or pathological, with anticoagulant or pro-inflammatory effects respectively. Endothelial dysfunction caused by inflammation is a key initiating event in atherosclerotic plaque formation. Athero-emboli, resulting from ruptured carotid plaques are a major cause of stroke. Current clinical techniques for arterial assessment, angiography and carotid ultrasound, give accurate information about stenosis but limited evidence on plaque composition, inflammation or vulnerability; as a result, patients with asymptomatic, or fragile carotid lesions, may not be identified and treated effectively. There is a need to discover novel biomarkers and develop more efficient diagnostic approaches in order to stratify patients at most risk of stroke, who would benefit from interventional surgery. Increasing evidence suggests that EMPs play an important role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease, acting as a marker of damage, either exacerbating disease progression or triggering a repair response. In this regard, it has been suggested that EMPs have the potential to act as biomarkers of disease status. In this review, we will present the evidence to support this hypothesis and propose a novel concept for the development of a diagnostic device that could be implemented in the clinic.

KEYWORDS:

Carotid disease; Microparticles; Stroke

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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