Cell-derived microparticles (MPs) and their role in unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss

  • Rucha Kiran Patil National Institute of Immunohaematology, ICMR, Mumbai
  • Shrimati Shetty National Institute of Immunohaematology, ICMR, Mumbai


Circulating cell-derived microparticles (MPs) are sub-micronic phospholipid vesicles derived from cells of different types in response to various biological processes such as cellular activation and apoptosis. They are mainly biomarkers of activation, damage and stress. Apart from the pro-thrombotic attribute, MPs have many other properties and various functions like being pro-inflammatory, pro-angiogenic or immunomodulatory and have been found to have a role in vascular dysfunction, cross talk, inflammation, etc. There are many studies which show the association of specific cell-derived MPs to different pathological states. MPs act as a possible predictor of disease severity and the origin of MPs help us predict the pathological condition; thus MPs represent a promising biomarker of the disease state. There are several methods for the detection and characterization of MPs; however the most common and gold standard method is flow cytometry. Other methods include enzyme linked immunosorbent assay, functional assays which measure procoagulant activity and techniques like electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, nanoparticle tracking. However, research in the area of MPs faces many problems with regards to the methodology and pre-analytical variables and thus strict guidelines need to be followed for MP estimation. Elevated procoagulant MPs have been detected in patients with pregnancy complications and unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss. MPs may assist in uteroplacental thrombosis leading to pregnancy complications and miscarriages. A preliminary study reports the beneficial use of anticoagulant therapy in such patients with elevated MPs. Present report summarizes different methods used for the detection and analyses of MPs along with their role in pregnancy complications mainly unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss.

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