Membrane microparticles: two sides of the coin

Physiology (Bethesda). 2005 Feb;20:22-7. doi: 10.1152/physiol.00029.2004.


Microparticles are plasma membrane-derived vesicles shed from stimulated cells, in the broad sense of the term. Their presence is interpreted by proximal or remote cells in fundamental physiological processes including intercellular communication, hemostasis, and immunity. On the other hand, variations of their number or characteristics are frequently observed in pathophysiological situations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Coagulation / physiology
  • Cell Communication / physiology
  • Cell Membrane / physiology*
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure*
  • Cell Physiological Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Immunity / physiology
  • Particle Size
  • Protein Transport