Chapter 9

Importance of Microparticles in Microcirculation and Diseases

Maria Carmen Martinez and Ramaroson Andriantsitohaina

Abstract

Although generation of microparticles from stimulated cells is a universal event of the cell life, little is known about the mechanisms regulating this process. Only in the last ten years, microparticles are considered as vectors of biological information between cells. Levels of circulating microparticles are enhanced in a large number of cardiovascular pathologies including changes in the microcirculation associated with insulino-resistance and this has been associated with deleterious effects on cells from vascular wall, mainly, endothelial cells. However, under several conditions, microparticles released from different vascular cells can induce beneficial effects, such as repair of injured tissue favoring angiogenesis, release of nitric oxide from injured endothelium, for instance. This review emphasizes the increasing significance of microparticles in major cardiovascular pathological situations, as well as, the recent progress in the identification of other biological functions for microparticles, mainly, considering microparticles as potential therapeutic tools.

Total Pages: 91-98 (8)

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