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Objective: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by excess cardiovascular risk. Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging (LSCI) is a novel and highly reproducible technique for the real-time evaluation of skin microcirculation. However, relevant data using non-invasive laser techniques remain far too limited in RA, especially in patients free from cardiovascular risk factors with relatively suppressed inflammatory load. Design and method: We assessed skin microvascular function in a well-characterized sample of RA patients free from hypertension and cardiovascular diseases with low levels of systemic inflammation, compared to non-RA individuals. Microvascular function was dynamically evaluated using LSCI coupled with a post-occlusive reactive hyperaemia protocol. Applanation tonometry with the Sphygmocor device was applied to assess a) subendocardial viability ratio (SEVR) or Buckberg index as a functional marker of microvascular myocardial perfusion, b) carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) as a marker of macrovascular dysfunction. Results: We studied 35 patients with RA at remission or low disease activity, and 35 controls matched for cardiovascular risk factors. Skin microvascular responses were impaired in RA patients compared to controls, specifically baseline flux [46.8(18.9) vs 36.4(13.9) LSPUs, p < 0.001], occlusion flux [12.4(13.5) vs 7.0(3.6) LSPUs, p = 0.001], time-to-peak [7.0(0.4) vs 11.0(8) sec, p < 0.001], peak magnitude [113.1(25.4) vs 99.1(32.5) LSPUs, p = 0.017], peak-to-baseline magnitude [136.5(75.2) vs 172.1(65.9) %, p = 0.014], baseline cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC) (0.54 ± 0.15 vs 0.44 ± 0.14 LSPUs/mmHg, p = 0.006), and percentage increase in CVC [139.5(75.3) vs 172.1(67.3) %, p = 0.011]. Moreover, SEVR was lower in RA patients compared to controls (140.6 ± 21.8 vs 157.2 ± 25.2%, p = 0.046), whereas PWV did not significantly differ. SEVR strongly and significantly correlated with nearly all LSCI indices (baseline and occlusion flux, peak magnitude, peak-to-baseline magnitude, baseline CVC, and percentage CVC increase). PWV significantly correlated only with baseline flux, occlusion flux, and time-to-peak. Conclusions: Microcirculation dynamics appear impaired even in RA patients with relatively low inflammatory load, regardless of cardiovascular risk factors. Importantly, we showed for the first time an association between impaired skin microvascular dynamics assessed with LSCI and microvascular myocardial perfusion using SEVR. Further studies need to evaluate the prognostic potential of LSCI in terms of cardiovascular risk in RA.

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... Linear regression analysis with the "Enter" method was used to detect significant associations with LSCI indices while controlling for other variables. According to a recent study using LSCI in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, the estimated total sample size would be 123 individuals with a 5% level of significance, 90% power, and a sample size distribution of 1:2 for 2 groups [35]. The parametric Pearson or the nonparametric Spearman's Rho correlation coefficient were used to calculate the correlations between the continuous variables. ...
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Objectives Patients with SLE have increased cardiovascular mortality. Alterations in both macro- and micro-circulation have been associated with cardiovascular disease. We sought to assess skin microvascular function by using laser speckle contrast analysis (LASCA) in patients with SLE, with and without cardiovascular disease and risk factors. Methods Continuous blood flow was recorded using a LASCA device during baseline, a 5-min arterial occlusion and a 5-min reperfusion period. Results Thirty-five patients with SLE (85.7% women) with a median disease duration 12.0 (6.5–17.5) years and a mean age of 46.3 (8.6) years and 31 controls matched for age, sex and BMI were enrolled. During reperfusion, SLE patients exhibited a smaller peak magnitude compared with controls (161.0 (47.1) vs 197.2 (41.4)%, respectively, P =0.002). Results remained unchanged among 24 SLE patients without cardiovascular disease compared with the control group (169.2 (48.1) vs 195.6 (34.0)%, respectively, P =0.002). Conclusion Our study shows, for the first time, that patients with SLE, even without overt cardiovascular disease or risk factors, exhibit a blunted microvascular reactivity during reperfusion compared with controls. These results show that skin microvascular dysfunction is present in SLE independently of the CV burden that these patients bear and may represent an early sign of vascular damage.
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Aim: To investigate the thrombotic microenvironment in early stages of type 2 diabetes mellitus measuring platelet-derived, endothelial-derived and erythrocyte-derived microvesicles. Methods: We recruited 50 newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus patients who did not receive glucose-lowering treatment except for metformin and 25 matched non-type 2 diabetes mellitus volunteers. Microvesicles were measured with flow cytometry, glycated haemoglobin with high-performance liquid chromatography and advanced glycation end products with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients showed significantly higher levels of platelet-derived microvesicles [195/μL (115-409) vs 110/μL (73-150), p = 0.001] and erythrocyte-derived microvesicles [26/μL (9-100) vs 9/μL (4-25), p = 0.007] compared to non-type 2 diabetes mellitus individuals. Platelet-derived microvesicles were positively associated with fasting blood glucose ( p = 0.026) and glycated haemoglobin ( p = 0.002). Erythrocyte-derived microvesicles were also positively associated with fasting blood glucose ( p = 0.018) but not with glycated haemoglobin ( p = 0.193). No significant association was observed between platelet-derived microvesicles ( p = 0.126) or erythrocyte-derived microvesicles ( p = 0.857) and advanced glycation end products. Erythrocyte-derived microvesicles predicted the presence of type 2 diabetes mellitus, independently of platelet-derived microvesicles. Conclusion: In newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus, ongoing atherothrombosis is evident during the early stages as evidenced by increased microvesicles levels. Furthermore, the association with glycemic profile suggests that microvesicles represent not only a novel mechanism by which hyperglycemia amplifies thrombotic tendency in type 2 diabetes mellitus but also early markers of thrombosis highlighting the need for earlier management of hyperglycemia.
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The systemic autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by increased cardiovascular mortality and morbidity and is an independent cardiovascular risk factor. Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) result from accelerated atherogenesis, which is a consequence of endothelial dysfunction in the early stages of the disease. Endothelial dysfunction is a functional and reversible alteration of endothelial cells and leads to a shift in the properties of the endothelium towards reduced vasodilation, a pro-inflammatory state, and proliferative and prothrombotic properties. In RA, endothelial dysfunction can occur in the large vessels (such as the conduit arteries) and in the small vessels of the microvasculature, which supply oxygen and nutrients to the tissue and control inflammation, repair and fluid exchange with the surrounding tissues. Growing evidence suggests that microvascular endothelial dysfunction contributes to CVD development, as it precedes and predicts the development of conduit artery atherosclerosis and associated risk factors. As such, numerous studies have investigated microvascular endothelial dysfunction in RA, including its link with disease activity, disease duration and inflammation, the effect of treatments on endothelial function, and possible circulating biomarkers of microvascular endothelial dysfunction. Such findings could have important implications in the cardiovascular risk management of patients with RA.
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Objective Capillary rarefaction is observed in various cardiovascular diseases, yet it remains understudied in RA, a chronic inflammatory disease accompanied by excess cardiovascular risk. We quantified capillary density in RA patients and explored potential associations with macrocirculatory disorders, inflammation and cardiovascular risk. Methods Dermal capillary density was assessed with nailfold capillaroscopy in RA and non‐RA individuals, using specifically designed semiautomated software. Macrocirculation assessments included large artery stiffening, evaluated with PWV, and myocardial blood flow, calculated as cardiac index from impedance cardiography. Cardiovascular risk score was estimated from the Framingham Heart Study. Results The number of capillaries per visual field was lower in patients (n=99) compared to controls (n=35) (132.6±30.3 vs 152.9±25.2, p=0.001). In the RA group, capillary density negatively correlated with CRP and PWV, and positively with HDL and cardiac index. In the multivariate analysis, CRP independently predicted capillary rarefaction (p=0.044). Capillary density significantly correlated with cardiovascular risk, even after adjustment for inflammation (p=0.030). Conclusion Capillary rarefaction appears pronounced in RA and correlates with lower cardiac output, increased arterial stiffness and cardiovascular risk. However, the associations with macrocirculatory disorders may be obscured by inflammation, which appears as the major contributor to capillary rarefaction in RA. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
Objective: Quantification of retinal vessel morphology has emerged as a marker of cardiovascular health. We examined retinal microvascular diameters in RA, particularly in regard with systemic inflammation, subclinical atherosclerosis and cardiovascular risk. Methods: Retinal images from RA patients and controls were processed using computerized software, to obtain central retinal arteriolar (CRAE) and venular (CRVE) equivalent and arteriovenous ratio (AVR). Subclinical atherosclerosis was assessed with carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), and 10-year risk of general cardiovascular disease was calculated. Results: Both CRAE (78.8±8.9 vs 90.2±9.9 μm, p<0.001) and AVR (0.69±0.09 vs 0.81±0.09, p<0.001) were decreased in RA patients (n=87) compared to controls (n=46), whereas CRVE did not differ. Among RA patients, CRAE and AVR were inversely associated with both cIMT and C-reactive protein (CRP), whereas CRVE positively correlated with CRP (p<0.05 for all). CRAE additionally correlated with cardiovascular risk score (r=-0.396, p=0.001). In the multivariate analysis, cardiovascular risk was associated with CRAE; age with CRVE, while CRP independently predicted AVR. Conclusion: Our study shows decreased altered retinal microvascular morphology in RA patients. Inflammation appears as the biological link for the observed association between retinal microvascular abnormalities and subclinical atherosclerosis. Retinal arteriolar narrowing might play its own role in cardiovascular risk prediction in RA. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
Cardiac involvement is common in rheumatoid arthritis. Subendocardial viability ratio (SEVR) is a non-invasive measure of microvascular coronary perfusion, yet it remains unclear whether it is affected in rheumatoid arthritis patients. We additionally sought predictors of SEVR in rheumatoid arthritis among a wide range of disease-related parameters, cardiac and hemodynamic factors, and markers of atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, and endothelial dysfunction. SEVR was estimated in rheumatoid arthritis patients and healthy controls by applanation tonometry, which was also used to evaluate arterial stiffness (pulse wave velocity and augmentation index). In the rheumatoid arthritis group, carotid intima–media thickness (cIMT) was additionally estimated by ultrasound, cardiac and hemodynamic parameters by impedance cardiography, and endothelial dysfunction by measurement of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA). In a total of 122 participants, SEVR was lower among 91 patients with rheumatoid arthritis compared to 31 controls (141.4 ± 21.9 vs 153.1 ± 18.7%, p = 0.009) and remained so among 29 rheumatoid arthritis patients without hypertension, diabetes, or cardiovascular diseases, compared to the control group (139.7 ± 21.7 vs 153.1 ± 18.7%, p = 0.013). SEVR did not significantly correlate with arterial stiffness, cIMT, ADMA, or disease-related parameters. Multivariate analysis revealed gender (p = 0.007), blood pressure (p = 0.028), heart rate (p = 0.025), cholesterol levels (p = 0.008), cardiac index (p < 0.001) and left ventricular ejection time (p = 0.004) as independent predictors of SEVR among patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis exhibit lower values of SEVR compared to healthy individuals. Cardiac and hemodynamic parameters, rather than functional indices of endothelial and macrovascular dysfunction, may be useful as predictors of myocardial perfusion in rheumatoid arthritis.
Article
Background Immune cells under chronic inflammation shed microparticles (MPs) that could fuel the inflammatory responses and atherosclerosis typically presented in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This study analyzes total and subset-specific MPs from SLE patients and their possible influence on clinical features, leukocyte activation and serum cytokines. Methods Total MPs and those derived from platelets, endothelial cells, monocytes, granulocytes and T-cells were quantified in plasma of 106 SLE patients and 33 healthy controls by flow cytometry. MP amounts were analyzed according to clinical manifestations, blood leukocyte populations and circulating cytokines (IFNα, TNFα, IL-10, BLyS, IL-17, IL-1β, CXCL10, CCL-2, CCL3, leptin). Finally, the in vitro effect of SLE-isolated MPs on the leukocyte activation status was analyzed. Results Total circulating MPs in SLE patients were related to increased disease duration and the presence of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, patients displayed increased counts of MPs from platelets, monocytes and T-lymphocytes, especially in SLE patients with disease activity or with TNFαhigh-profile. Accordingly, MPs were associated with increased expression of activation markers in blood T-cells and monocytes. Finally, analyses propose a role of glucocorticoids in MPs generation and leukocyte activation since both fresh and cultured T-cells under this treatment presented higher IL-10 and CD25 production. Conclusions The altered profile of subset-specific SLE-MPs was influenced by the disease activity and altered status of leukocyte native cells, also associated with a TNFαhigh-profile. Translational results SLE patients, especially those with disease activity, displayed increased counts of MPs derived from platelets, monocytes and T-lymphocytes, which were more frequently found in TNFαhigh-type patients. The origin of such SLE-MP subsets seems to be related to the over-activated status of T-cells and monocytes characteristic of these patients. Ex vivo and in vitro analyses propose a role of glucocorticoids in the generation of circulating MPs and leukocyte activation in SLE patients.
Article
Microparticles (MP) are small extracellular vesicles (30-1,000 nm) that are released from activated cells or platelets. Exposure of negatively charged phospholipids and tissue factor (TF) renders MP procoagulant. Normal plasma levels of intravascular TF-exposing MP (TFMP) are low, but their number may rise in pathological conditions, including cancer and infectious disease. Emerging evidence indicates an important role for these circulating TFMP in the pathogenesis of thrombotic complications such as venous thromboembolism and disseminated intravascular coagulation, whereas their contribution to arterial thrombosis is less studied. Despite serious limitations of the currently available assays for measuring TFMP levels or the procoagulant activity associated with TFMP with respect to sensitivity and specificity, the scientific interest in TFMP is rapidly growing because their application as prognostic biomarkers for thrombotic complications is promising. Future advances in detection methods will likely provide more insight into TFMP and eventually improve their clinical utility. Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.
Article
The endothelium is recognized as a major determinant of vascular physiology and pathophysiology. Over the last few decades, a plethora of studies have implicated endothelial dysfunction in the progression of atherosclerosis and the subclinical target organ damage observed in essential hypertension. However, the clinical significance of diagnosing endothelial dysfunction in patients with essential hypertension remains under investigation. Although a number of vascular and non-vascular markers of endothelial dysfunction have been proposed, there is an ongoing quest for a marker in the clinical setting that is optimal, inexpensive, and reproducible. In addition, endothelial dysfunction emerges as a promising therapeutic target of agents that are readily available in clinical practice. In this context, a better understanding of its role in essential hypertension becomes of great importance. Here, we aim to investigate the clinical significance of endothelial dysfunction in essential hypertension by accumulating novel data on (a) early diagnosis using robust markers with prognostic value in cardiovascular risk prediction, (b) the association of endothelial dysfunction with subclinical vascular organ damage, and
Article
Microparticles (MPs) could be considered biomarkers of cell damage and activation as well as novel signaling structures. Since Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is characterized by immune and endothelial activation, the main aim of this study was to analyze MP counts in RA patients. Citrated-blood samples were obtained from 114 RA patients, 33 healthy controls (HC) and 72 individuals with marked cardiovascular (CV) risk without autoimmune manifestations (CVR). MPs were analyzed in platelet-poor plasma and different subsets were identified by their surface markers: platelet- (CD41+), endothelial- (CD146+), granulocyte- (CD66+), monocyte- (CD14+) and Tang-derived (CD3+CD31+). Disease activity (DAS28), clinical and immunological parameters as well as traditional CV risk factors (diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and obesity) were registered from clinical records and all data were integrated using Principal Component Analysis. Absolute MP number was increased in RA patients compared to HC and positively correlated with traditional CV risk factors, similar to that of CVR subjects. In addition, frequency of the different MP subsets was different in RA patients and significantly associated to disease features. Moreover, in vitro assays revealed that MPs isolated from RA patients were able to promote endothelial activation and exhibited detrimental effects on HMEC-I endothelial cell functionality. Circulating MPs from RA patients displayed quantitative and qualitative alterations that are the result of both disease-specific and traditional CV risk factors. Accordingly, this MP pool exhibited in vitro detrimental effects on endothelial cells, thus supporting their role as biomarkers of vascular damage.
Article
Objective: Chronic autoimmune diseases are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular death. Endothelial dysfunction represents the first stage of subclinical atherosclerosis and multiple factors contribute to endothelial injury. Among these, an altered balance between endothelial microparticle (EMP) release and endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) generation promotes endothelial dysfunction. The role of EMPs and EPCs in promoting endothelial damage in primary SS (pSS) has never been investigated. Our aim was to evaluate the role of EMPs and EPCs as markers of endothelial damage in pSS and their correlation with disease clinical and immunological features. Methods: Circulating EMPs (CD31(+)/CD42(-)), true EPCs (CD34(+)/KDR(+)/CD133(+)) and mature EPCs (CD34(+)/KDR(+)/CD133(-)) were quantified by FACS analysis in 34 pSS patients and 18 age- and sex-matched controls. Correlation between EMP and EPC levels and parameters of disease activity and damage, clinical features and markers of immunological dysfunction was performed. Results: Patients displayed higher EMP numbers with respect to healthy controls [HCs; mean 450 n/μl (S.D. 155) vs 231 (110), P < 0.0001]. EPC and mature EPC levels were higher in patients compared with HCs [mean 226 n/ml (S.D. 181) vs 69 (53), P < 0.001 and 166 (161) vs 36 (32), P < 0.0001, respectively). EMP levels directly correlated with disease duration from symptoms and diagnosis (ρ = 0.5, P < 0.01). Early EPCs inversely correlated with disease duration from symptoms (ρ = -0.5, P < 0.01) and diagnosis (ρ = -0.4, P < 0.05). Conclusion: This is the first demonstration of chronic endothelial fragmentation characterizing pSS. The reparative potentiality of the endothelial layer appears to be preserved in the earliest stages of disease. During the course of the disease, progressive exhaustion of the precursor endothelial pool may be hypothesized, leading to defective vascular layer restoration and endothelial dysfunction.
Article
Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) associated vasculitis (AAV) is characterised by neutrophil activation. An elevated prevalence of venous thromboembolic events has been reported in AAV. Because of the critical role of neutrophils in inflammation associated thrombosis, we asked whether neutrophil tissue factor (TF) may be implicated in the thrombotic diathesis in AAV. Neutrophils from four patients and sera from 17 patients with ANCA associated vasculitis with active disease and remission were studied. TF expression was assessed by immunoblotting and confocal microscopy. Circulating DNA levels were evaluated. TF expressing microparticles (MPs) were measured by flow cytometry and thrombin-antithrombin complex levels by ELISA. Peripheral blood neutrophils from four patients with active disease expressed elevated TF levels and released TF expressing neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) and MPs. TF positive NETs were released by neutrophils isolated from the bronchoalveolar lavage and were detected in nasal and renal biopsy specimens. Elevated levels of circulating DNA and TF expressing neutrophil derived MPs were further observed in sera from patients with active disease. Induction of remission attenuated the aforementioned effects. Control neutrophils treated with sera from patients with active disease released TF bearing NETs and MPs which were abolished after IgG depletion. Treatment of control neutrophils with isolated IgG from sera from patients with active disease also resulted in the release of TF bearing NETs. TF implication in MP dependent thrombin generation was demonstrated by antibody neutralisation studies. Expression of TF in NETs and neutrophil derived MPs proposes a novel mechanism for the induction of thrombosis and inflammation in active AAV.
Article
Characterization of the abundance, origin, and annexin V (AnxV)-binding capabilities of circulating microparticles (MPs) in SLE patients and healthy controls and to determine any associations with clinical parameters. Seventy unselected SLE patients and 29 sex- and age-matched healthy control subjects were included in the study. MPs were isolated from citrate-treated plasma and characterized by flow cytometry using AnxV or antibodies to platelet, leukocyte, or endothelial cell surface markers. SLE patients had significantly increased concentrations of AnxV-nonbinding (AnxV-) MPs (P<0.0001), while the concentrations of total MPs (P=0.011) and AnxV-binding (AnxV+) MPs (P<0.0001) were decreased, as compared with controls. Based on flow cytometric characteristics, 2 subgroups of AnxV- MPs could be discerned: AnxV- cell-derived MPs (CDMPs) and AnxV- MPs of unknown nature (UNMPs). Both fractions were significantly increased in SLE patients (P=0.007 and P=0.0018, respectively). Platelet- and leukocyte-derived MPs were decreased in the SLE patients (P<0.0001), whereas no difference was observed for endothelial cell-derived MPs (P=0.14). The concentrations of AnxV- CDMPs correlated with the concentrations of endothelial cell-derived MPs, the disease activity score, active nephritis, hypertension, history of arterial thrombosis, and triglyceride levels (P<0.05 for all comparisons). The concentrations and composition of MPs in SLE patients differ markedly from those in healthy subjects. Overall MP numbers were significantly decreased, but two distinct subpopulations of AnxV- MPs were significantly increased. These findings call for further characterization of MPs in SLE patients to elucidate their role in disease pathogenesis.
Article
Endothelial cells play a central pathogenetic role in ANCA-associated small-vessel vasculitis (AAV). Circulating endothelial cells (CECs), as a marker of endothelial damage, have been shown to be elevated in vasculitis. More recently, endothelial microparticles (EMPs) were found to be increased in active childhood vasculitis. The role of EMP in adult AAV and the relationship between EMP and CEC is unclear. We studied 26 patients with AAV, 12 healthy volunteers and 10 patients with IgA nephropathy as disease control. Platelet-poor plasma was ultracentrifuged. MPs were identified and enumerated with flow cytometry, Annexin V, CD62E and CD105 antibodies. Leucocyte- and platelet-derived MPs were also measured. CEC were isolated and enumerated with CD146-driven immuno-magnetic isolation. EMPs are significantly elevated in patients with active vasculitis (CD62E: mean 248 MP/microl +/- 198 s.d.; CD105: 121 +/- 135/microl) compared with patients in remission/partial remission (CD62E: 55 +/- 30/microl, P = 0.001; CD105: 16 +/- 12/microl, P = 0.002) and healthy volunteers (CD62E: 66 +/- 33/microl, P = 0.002; CD105: 25 +/- 26/microl, P = 0.007). The MP count correlates with disease activity measured by the Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score (BVAS) (CD62E: r = 0.703; CD105: r = 0.445, P < 0.023). EMPs are elevated in active adult AAV. EMP levels correlate with disease activity and might serve as a marker of endothelial activation and damage. Differential detection of endothelial, platelet- and leucocyte-derived MPs may provide more insight in to the pathogenesis of AAV.
Article
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular mortality is increased in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. We evaluated the association of inflammatory response with platelet, endothelial, coagulation activation parameters; and subclinical atherosclerosis in RA patients. We included 27 RA patients (21 female; six male) and 19 healthy subjects (14 female; five male). Disease activity score (DAS28) in RA patients was calculated; and patients were divided into two groups as active and inactive. Flow cytometry was used to determine platelet CD62P expression, platelet microparticles (PMP), platelet-monocyte (PMC) and platelet-neutrophil complexes (PNC). Plasma E-selectin, thrombin-antithrombin (TAT) complex, and serum sCD40L levels were determined by ELISA. The intima-media thickness (IMT) of carotid arteries was determined by B-mode ultrasonography. In RA patients, platelet CD62P expression (p < 0.001), PMC (p = 0.037) and sCD40L (p < 0.001) levels were increased when compared to the control group. PNC (p = 0.07) and TAT levels (p = 0.1) were non-significantly higher, and PMP level (p = 0.075) was nonsignificantly lower in RA patients. Soluble E-selectin level was significantly higher in the active RA group than in the inactive RA group (p = 0.009). There was no correlation between carotid IMT and activity markers, the evaluated parameters (p > 0.05).The increase in markers of active platelets, CD62P and sCD40L, and PMC levels might be associated with the increased cardiovascular mortality in RA. Nevertheless, none of these parameters were associated with carotid IMT: this suggests that one cross-sectional value might not be a good marker for atherosclerosis
Article
Microparticles are released from endothelial cells in response to a variety of injurious stimuli and recently have been shown to be increased in a number of diseases associated with endothelial dysfunction. This study examined endothelial microparticle (EMP) and platelet microparticle (PMP) profiles in children with systemic vasculitis to test the hypothesis that EMPs may provide a noninvasive means of examining endothelial activation or injury. The study cohort comprised 39 children with systemic vasculitis at various stages of disease activity, 24 control children with febrile disease, and a control group of 43 healthy subjects. Plasma was ultracentrifuged at 17,000g for 60 minutes, and the microparticle pellets were examined using flow cytometry. Plasma from patients with active systemic vasculitis contained significantly higher numbers of E-selectin-positive EMPs compared with that from patients in remission, healthy controls, or febrile disease controls (P = 0.000 for each). A similar result was obtained for the numbers of EMPs expressing the marker CD105. There was also a significant increase in PMPs expressing CD42a in the active vasculitis group as compared with the other groups, but this difference was not significant for PMPs expressing P-selectin. The EMP counts correlated with the Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score and the acute-phase reactant levels in the patients with systemic vasculitis, but there was a poor correlation overall between EMP counts and the acute-phase reactant levels in the febrile disease controls. EMPs may provide a window to the activated endothelium and could provide important pathophysiologic insights into the vascular injury associated with vasculitis of the young.
CLEC-2 expression is maintained on activated platelets and on platelet microparticles
  • E Gitz
  • A Y Pollitt
  • Gitz-Francois Jj
Gitz E, Pollitt AY, Gitz-francois JJ et al (2016) CLEC-2 expression is maintained on activated platelets and on platelet microparticles. Blood 124:2262-2271. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1182/ blood-2014-05-572818. The