Objectives: Microparticles are membrane vesicles shed by cells upon activation and apoptosis. Agonists capable of inducing microparticle generation include cytokines, bacterial products, P-selectin, histamine. Cigarette smoke extract has also been recognized as an agonist involved in microparticle generation with an apoptosis-dependent mechanism. We investigated the possibility that cigarette smoke extract induces the rapid generation of proinflammatory microparticles by human mononuclear cells with a calcium-dependent mechanism.
Materials and methods: Human mononuclear cells were exposed to cigarette smoke extract. [Ca(2+)]i mobilization was assessed with the fluorescent probe Fluo-4 NW. Microparticles were quantified with a prothrombinase assay and by flow cytometry. Normal human bronchial epithelial cells and A549 alveolar cells were incubated with cigarette smoke extract-induced microparticles and the generation of ICAM-1, IL-8, and MCP-1 was assessed by ELISA.
Results: Exposure to cigarette smoke extract induced a rapid increase in [Ca(2+)]i mobilization. Microparticle generation was also increased. EGTA, verapamil and the calmodulin inhibitor, W-7, inhibited microparticle generation. Incubation of lung epithelial cells with cigarette smoke extract-induced microparticles increased the expression of proinflammatory mediators.
Conclusions: Exposure of mononuclear cells to cigarette smoke extract causes a rapid shedding of microparticles with a proinflammatory potential that might add to the mechanisms of disease from tobacco use.