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BACKGROUND: The interaction of circulating microparticles (MPs) with immune cells in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is sparsely investigated. We examined the ability of MPs from SLE patients to induce production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and degranulation of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs). METHODS: Plasma MPs, leukocytes and sera isolated from 20 SLE patients and 10 healthy controls were mixed in different combinations, with or without lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and incubated for 30 min. Dihydrorhodamine 123 was used to measure ROS production by flow cytometry. The ability of immunoglobulin G (IgG) isolated from five SLE patients to increase MP-induced production of ROS by PMNs was tested. Cell supernatants were analysed for content of primary, secondary and tertiary granule components by Luminex assays. RESULTS: MPs from SLE patients promoted ROS production by PMNs, and enhanced LPS-induced ROS production and release of primary granules by PMNs, when added to samples of autologous leukocytes and serum. In a similar autologous setting, MPs from healthy controls enhanced LPS-induced ROS production by PMNs. When leukocytes from a healthy control were stimulated with autologous MPs in the presence of various sera, SLE patient serum promoted ROS production and release of primary and secondary granules by PMNs. A role for antibodies in this respect was indicated by the observation that supplementation of normal serum with IgG from SLE patients promoted MP-induced ROS production by healthy PMNs. Moreover, when various MPs were incubated with leukocytes and serum from a healthy control, patient-derived MPs induced more ROS production by PMNs than did healthy control-derived MPs. CONCLUSIONS: SLE patients display increased ROS production and degranulation by PMNs in response to MPs, which partly depends on serum components, including antibodies, MP properties and hyper-responsiveness of the PMNs per se.

Original publication




Journal article


Arthritis Res Ther

Publication Date





Adult, Cell Degranulation, Cell-Derived Microparticles, Female, Humans, Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic, Male, Middle Aged, Neutrophils, Reactive Oxygen Species, Young Adult