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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 734509, 11 pages
Review Article

Impact of Endothelial Microparticles on Coagulation, Inflammation, and Angiogenesis in Age-Related Vascular Diseases

1Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, 114 Doughty Street, STB, Charleston, SC 29425, USA
2Department of Biology, College of Charleston, Rita Liddy Hollings Science Center, Charleston, SC 29424, USA
3Department of Radiology, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY 11219, USA

Received 1 April 2013; Accepted 4 September 2013

Academic Editor: Barbara Shukitt-Hale

Copyright © 2013 Margaret Markiewicz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Endothelial microparticles (EMPs) are complex vesicular structures that originate from plasma membranes of activated or apoptotic endothelial cells. EMPs play a significant role in vascular function by altering the processes of inflammation, coagulation, and angiogenesis, and they are key players in the pathogenesis of several vascular diseases. Circulating EMPs are increased in many age-related vascular diseases such as coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, cerebral ischemia, and congestive heart failure. Their elevation in plasma has been considered as both a biomarker and bioactive effector of vascular damage and a target for vascular diseases. This review focuses on the pleiotropic roles of EMPs and the mechanisms that trigger their formation, particularly the involvement of decreased estrogen levels, thrombin, and PAI-1 as major factors that induce EMPs in age-related vascular diseases.