Endothelial Microparticles (EMP) for the assessment of endothelial function : an in vitro and in vivo study on possible interference of plasma lipids
van Craenenbroeck, Emeline M.
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
, p. e31496,1-e31496,8
University of Antwerp
Background Circulating endothelial microparticles (EMP) reflect the condition of the endothelium and are of increasing interest in cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. Recently, increased numbers of EMP following oral fat intake, possibly due to acute endothelial injury, have been reported. On the other hand, the direct interference of lipids with the detection of EMP has been suggested. This study aimed to investigate the effect of lipid-rich solutions, commonly administered in clinical practice, on the detection, both in vitro and in vivo, of EMP. Methods For the in vitro assessment, several lipid-rich solutions were added to whole blood of healthy subjects (n = 8) and patients with coronary heart disease (n = 5). EMP (CD31+/CD42b−) were detected in platelet poor plasma by flow cytometry. For the in vivo study, healthy volunteers were evaluated on 3 different study-days: baseline evaluation, following lipid infusion and after a NaCl infusion. EMP quantification, lipid measurements and peripheral arterial tonometry were performed on each day. Results Both in vitro addition and in vivo administration of lipids significantly decreased EMP (from 198.6 to 53.0 and from 272.6 to 90.6/µl PPP, respectively, p = 0.001 and p = 0.012). The EMP number correlated inversely with the concentration of triglycerides, both in vitro and in vivo (r = −0.707 and −0.589, p<0.001 and p = 0.021, respectively). The validity of EMP as a marker of endothelial function is supported by their inverse relationship with the reactive hyperemia index (r = −0.758, p = 0.011). This inverse relation was confounded by the intravenous administration of lipids. Conclusion The confounding effect of high circulating levels of lipids, commonly found in patients that receive intravenous lipid-based solutions, should be taken into account when flow cytometry is used to quantify EMP.