On the origin of microparticles: From "platelet dust" to mediators of intercellular communication

Pulm Circ. 2013 Apr;3(2):329-40. doi: 10.4103/2045-8932.114760.


Microparticles are submicron vesicles shed from a variety of cells. Peter Wolf first identified microparticles in the midst of ongoing blood coagulation research in 1967 as a product of platelets. He termed them platelet dust. Although initially thought to be useless cellular trash, decades of research focused on the tiny vesicles have defined their roles as participators in coagulation, cellular signaling, vascular injury, and homeostasis. The purpose of this review is to highlight the science leading up to the discovery of microparticles, feature discoveries made by key contributors to the field of microparticle research, and discuss their positive and negative impact on the pulmonary circulation.

Keywords: coagulation; microparticles; pulmonary circulation.

Publication types

  • Review