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The Microbubble or the Microparticle?
CARRAWAY, M. S. AND N. S. Key. The Microbubble or the Microparticle? AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY. American Physiological Society, Bethesda, MD, 110(2):307-08, (2011).
This manuscript focuses on mitochondrial biogenesis, a fundamental adaptive response of the cardiovascular system
Decompression sickness (DCS) has long been attributed to physical forces exerted by inert gas bubbles that may form in tissues, resulting in vascular occlusion and tissue disruption. Bubble formation occurs when a decrease in ambient pressure exceeds the rate at which soluble inert gas (e.g. nitrogen) can be eliminated from the tissues. Modern theory asserts that many signs and symptoms of DCS are due to complex vascular and other biological processes that occur in response to the bubbles, including inflammation and activation of coagulation, which lead to microvascular damage and thrombosis. Could it be that small biological vesicles are at the heart of the matter? In this issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology, Thom et al. report that decompression stress in mice results in increased numbers of circulating microparticles (MPs), which they implicate in neutrophil activation and vascular injury (1). MPs are small (0.1 to 1 um) membrane vesicles shed in coordinated processes 'from the surface of a number of different cells in the vasculature. MPs are formed in response to stimuli that activate the cell or lead to apoptosis (2), and have pro-inflammatory and prothrombotic properties, making them candidates to mediate vascular injury in DCS.