Yu X, Xu J, Huang G, et al. Bubble-Induced Endothelial Microparticles Promote Endothelial Dysfunction. Bader M, ed. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(1):e0168881. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0168881.
Decompression sickness is a systemic pathophysiological process caused by bubbles and endothelial microparticles (EMPs) are established markers reflecting competency of endothelial function and vascular biology. Here, we investigated the effects of bubble-induced EMPs on endothelial cells in vitro and vivo. Rat pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (PMVECs) were isolated and stimulated by bubbles and bubble-induced EMPs were collected and incubated with normal PMVECs in vitro. Cell viability and apoptosis were detected using Cell Counting Kit-8 assay and Annexin V FITC/PI double staining, respectively. Cell permeability and pro-inflammatory cytokines were determined by electric cell substrate impedance sensing and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. Intracellular nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species production were analyzed microscopically. In vivo study, bubble-induced EMPs were intravenously injected to the rats and soluble thrombomodulin, intercellular adhesion molecule 1, and vascullar adhesion molecule 1 were involved in evaluating endothelial dysfunction. In our study, bubble stimulus resulted in a significant increase of EMPs release by 3 fold. Bubble-induced EMPs significantly decreased cell viability and increased cell apoptosis. Moreover, bubble-induced EMPs induced abnormal increase of cell permeability and over-expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Intracellular ROS production increased while NO production decreased. These negative effects caused by bubble-induced EMPs were remarkably suppressed when EMPs pretreated with surfactant FSN-100. Finally, intravenous injection of bubble-induced EMPs caused elevations of soluble thrombomodulin and pro-inflammatory cytokines in the circulation. Altogether, our results demonstrated that bubble-induced EMPs can mediate endothelial dysfunction in vitro and vivo, which can be attenuated by EMPs abatement strategy. These data expanded our horizon of the detrimental effects of bubble-induced EMPs, which may be of great concern in DCS.