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Endothelial microparticle

Endothelial microparticles are small vesicles that are released from endothelial cells and can be found circulating in the blood. The microparticle consists of a plasma membrane surrounding a small amount of cytosol. The membrane of the endothelial microparticle contains receptors and other cell surface molecules which enable the identification of the endothelial origin of the microparticle, and allow it to be distinguished from microparticles from other cells, such as platelets.

Although circulating endothelial microparticles can be found in the blood of normal individuals, increased numbers of circulating endothelial microparticles have been identified in individuals with certain diseases, including hypertension, prothrombotic states such as thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, the antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, multiple sclerosis and cerebral malaria (Combes et al., JAMA 2004). The endothelial microparticles in some of these disease states have been shown to have arrays of cell surface molecules reflecting a state of endothelial dysfunction. Therefore, endothelial microparticles may be useful as an indicator or index of the functional state of the endothelium in disease, and may potentially play key roles in the pathogenesis of certain diseases.


  1. Combes V, Simon A-C, Grau G-E, et al. In vitro generation of endothelial microparticles and possible prothrombotic activity in patients with lupus anticoagulant. J Clin Invest 1999; 104: 93-102.
  2. Jimenez JJ, Jy W, Mauro LM, et al. Elevated endothelial microparticles in thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura: findings from brain and renal microvascular cell culture and patients with active disease. Br J Haematol 2001; 112: 81-90.
  3. Minagar A, Jy W, Jimenez JJ, et al. Elevated plasma endothelial microparticles in multiple sclerosis. Neurology 2001; 56: 1319-1324
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  7. Brodsky SV, Malinowski K, Golightly M, et al. Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 Promotes Formation of Endothelial Microparticles With Procoagulant Potential. Circulation. 2002;106:2372.
  8. COMBES V, TAYLOR TE, JUHAN-VAGUE I, MEGE JL, MWENECHANYA J, TEMBO M, GRAU GE, MOLYNEUX ME,. Circulating endothelial microparticles in Malawian children with severe falciparum malaria complicated by coma. JAMA 2004; 291: 2542-2544
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Endothelial_microparticle". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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