Modulation of monocyte-endothelial cell interactions by platelet microparticles

Orla P. Barry, Domenico Praticò, Rashmin C. Savani, Garret A. FitzGerald

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Platelets, activated by various agonists, produce microparticles (MP) from the plasma membrane, which are released into the extracellular space. Although the mechanism of MP formation has been clarified, their biological importance remains ill defined. We have recently shown that platelet-derived MP influence platelet and endothelial cell function. In this study, we have further examined the mechanism of cellular activation by platelet MP. To address the possibility that they may influence monocyte-endothelial interactions, we used an in vitro assay to examine their effects on the adhesion of monocytes to human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Platelet MP increased the adhesion of monocytes to HUVEC in a time- and dose- dependent manner. Maximal adhesion of monocytes to resting HUVEC was observed after 24 h of stimulation with MP. Similar kinetics were observed with U-937 (human promonocytic leukemia) cells, used as a model for the blood-borne monocyte. Maximal adhesion of resting monocytes to MP-stimulated HUVEC was observed after 5 h of stimulation with MP. The EC50s for MP-induced increases in HUVEC, monocyte, and U-937 cell adhesion is 8.74, 43.41, and 10.83 μg/ml of MP protein, respectively. The induction of monocyte- endothelial adhesion was mimicked by arachidonic acid isolated from MP. The observed increased cellular adhesiveness correlated with MP-induced upregulation of cell adhesion molecules. MP-stimulated HUVEC increased intracellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) but not vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), P-, or E-selectin expression. Monocyte and U- 937 lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (CD11a/CD18) and macrophage antigen-1 (CD11b/CD18, α(m)/β2) were both upregulated upon MP stimulation, but an increase in p150,95 (CD11c/CD18), very late antigen-1, or ICAM-1 expression was not observed. The functional importance of these changes was demonstrated with blocking antibodies. MP also induced the chemotaxis of U- 937 cells in a dose-dependent manner with an EC50 of 4.40 μg/ml of MP protein. Similarly, arachidonic acid isolated from MP mimicked the chemotactic response. A role for PKC was implicated in both adhesion and chemotaxis. GF 109203X, a specific inhibitor of PKC, significantly reduced monocyte-endothelial adhesion, as well as U-937 chemotaxis. The demonstration that platelet MP may modulate important aspects of endothelial and monocyte function provides a novel mechanism by which platelets may interact with such cells in human atherosclerosis and inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-144
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1998


  • Adhesion
  • Arachidonic acid
  • CD11a
  • CD11b
  • ICAM-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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