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PLoS One. 2017 May 22;12(5):e0176311. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0176311. eCollection 2017.

Parvovirus B19-induced vascular damage in the heart is associated with elevated circulating endothelial microparticles.

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Klinik für Innere Medizin III, Kardiologie, Angiologie und Internistische Intensivmedizin, Universitätsklinikum des Saarlandes, Homburg/ Saar, Universität des Saarlandes, Saarlandes, Germany.
Universitätsklinikum Tübingen, Abteilung Molekulare Pathologie, Institut für Pathologie und Neuropathologie, Tübingen, Germany.
Universitätsklinikum Münster, Department für Kardiologie und Angiologie, Münster, Germany.
Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa and MRC Inter-Cape Heart Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.



Diagnosis of viral myocarditis is difficult by clinical criteria but facilitated by detection of inflammation and viral genomes in endomyocardial biopsies. Parvovirus B19 (B19V) targets endothelial cells where viral nucleic acid is exclusively detected in the heart. Microparticles (MPs) are released after cell damage or activation of specific cells. We aimed to investigate whether circulating endothelial MPs (EMPs) in human and experimental models of myocarditis are associated with B19V myocarditis.


MPs were investigated in patients with myocarditis (n = 54), divided into two groups: B19V+ (n = 23) and B19V- (n = 31) and compared with healthy controls (HCTR, n = 25). MPs were also investigated in B19V transgenic mice (B19V-NS1+) and mice infected with coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3). MPs were analyzed with fluorescent activated cell sorting (FACS).


In human samples, EMP subpopulation patterns were significantly different in B19V+ compared to B19V- and HCTR (p<0.001), with an increase of apoptotic but not activated EMPs. Other MPs such as platelet- (PMPs) leukocyte-(LMPs) and monocyte-derived MPs (MMPs) showed less specific patterns. Significantly different levels of EMPs were observed in transgenic B19V-NS1+ mice compared with CVB3-infected mice (p<0.001).


EMP subpopulations are different in B19V+ myocarditis in humans and transgenic B19V mice reflecting vascular damage. EMP profiles might permit differentiation between endothelial-cell-mediated diseases like myocardial B19V infection and other causes of myocarditis.

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