Inserm, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale
Faculté de pharmacie, Aix Marseille Université

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Leukocyte- and endothelialSderived microparticles:a circulating source of fibrinolysis

Lacroix R, Plawinski L, Robert S, Doeuvre L, Sabatier F, Martinez de Lizarrondo S, Mezzapesa A, Anfosso F, Leroyer AS, Poullin P, Jourde N, Njock MS, Boulanger C, Angles-Cano E, Dignat-George F. Haematologica. 2012 Jun 24. IF : 5,9


We recently assigned a new fibrinolytic function to cell-derived microparticles in vitro. In this study we explored the relevance of this novel property of microparticles to the in vivo situation.

Circulating microparticles were isolated from the plasma of patients with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura or cardiovascular disease and from healthy subjects. Microparticles were also obtained from purified human blood cell subpopulations. The plasminogen activators on microparticles were identified by flow cytometry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays ; their capacity to generate plasmin was quantified with a chromogenic assay and their fibrinolytic activity was determined by zymography.

Circulating microparticles isolated from patients generate a range of plasmin activity at their surface. This property was related to a variable content of urokinase-type plasminogen activator and/or tissue plasminogen activator. Using distinct microparticle subpopulations, we demonstrated that plasmin is generated on endothelial and leukocyte microparticles, but not on microparticles of platelet or erythrocyte origin. Leukocyte-derived microparticles bear urokinase-type plasminogen activator and its receptor whereas endothelial microparticles carry tissue plasminogen activator and tissue plasminogen activator/inhibitor complexes.

Endothelial and leukocyte microparticles, bearing respectively tissue plasminogen activator or urokinase-type plasminogen activator, support a part of the fibrinolytic activity in the circulation which is modulated in pathological settings. Awareness of this blood-borne fibrinolytic activity conveyed by microparticles provides a more comprehensive view of the role of microparticles in the hemostatic equilibrium.