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Detection and isolation of cell-derived microparticles are compromised by protein complexes resulting from shared biophysical parameters

Bence György1, Károly Módos2, Éva Pállinger1, Krisztina Pálóczi1, Mária Pásztói1,3, Petra Misják1, Mária A. Deli4, Áron Sipos5, Anikó Szalai5, István Voszka2, Anna Polgár6, Kálmán Tóth7, Mária Csete5, György Nagy1,8, Steffen Gay9, András Falus1,3, Ágnes Kittel*,10, and Edit I. Buzás*

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2010-09-307595 by American Society of Hematology

Numerous diseases, recently reported to associate with elevated microvesicle/microparticle (MP) counts, have also long been known to be characterized by accelerated immune complex (IC) formation. The goal of this study was to investigate the potential overlap between parameters of protein complexes (eg, ICs or avidin-biotin complexes) and MPs, which might perturb detection and/or isolation of MPs. In this work, after comprehensive characterization of MPs by electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, dynamic light-scattering analysis, and flow cytometry, for the first time, we drive attention to the fact that protein complexes, especially insoluble ICs, overlap in biophysical properties (size, light scattering, and sedimentation) with MPs. This, in turn, affects MP quantification by flow cytometry and purification by differential centrifugation, especially in diseases in which IC formation is common, including not only autoimmune diseases, but also hematologic disorders, infections, and cancer. These data may necessitate reevaluation of certain published data on patient-derived MPs and contribute to correct the clinical laboratory assessment of the presence and biologic functions of MPs in health and disease.

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