Endothelial Cell–Derived Microparticles in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Recipients

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Background.Alterations of microparticles derived from different cell types are described in a number of diseases associated with inflammation and hemostatic disorders.Methods.In this prospective study, we firstly analyzed endothelial cell derived microparticles (EMP) in 19 hematopoietic stem cell recipients. Cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) stimulated with tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) served as positive controls. EMP were analyzed by fluorescent activated cell sorting (FACS), detecting the particels via expression of CD62 (E-selectin) and anionic phospholipids binding to annexin V.Results.EMP were not significantly influenced by conditioning regimens with non-myeloablative chemotherapy and 4 Gy total body irradiation (TBI) or by myeloablative regimens containing 12 Gy TBI. During acute graft versus host disease (aGVHD), significantly higher levels of EMP were detected than in patients without aGVHD (18.5/μl s=10.1 vs. 14.6/μl SD=11.5; P=0.004) while infectious complications did not alter EMP levels significantly. Immunosuppressive therapy with corticosteroids tendentially elevated EMP levels. HUVEC treated with TNF-alpha 1 ng/ml, 10 ng/ml and 100 ng/ml released significantly more EMP than unstimulated cultures (30.0/μl ss=13.6 vs. 126.8/μl SD=66.9, P=0.032 / vs. 683.3/μl SD=349.9; P=0.03 / vs. 489.3 s=184.4; P=0.013).Conclusions.Elevation of EMP during aGVHD might express severe endothelial cell injury within this complication after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and might serve as a diagnostic test for early differentiation of aGVHD from other transplanted related complications.

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