Microparticles as a source of extracellular DNA
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Microparticles are small membrane-bound vesicles that display pro-inflammatory and pro-thrombotic activities important in the pathogenesis of a wide variety of diseases. These particles are released from activated and dying cells and incorporate nuclear and cytoplasmic molecules for extracellular export. Of these molecules, DNA is a central autoantigen in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). As studies in our laboratory show, DNA occurs prominently in microparticles, translocating into these structures during apoptotic cell death. This DNA is antigenically active and can bind to lupus anti-DNA autoantibodies. These findings suggest that microparticles are an important source of extracellular DNA to serve as an autoantigen and autoadjuvant in SLE.
KeywordsMicroparticles DNA Apoptosis Systemic lupus erythematosus Innate immunity
These studies were supported by a VA Merit review grant and NIH grants AI082402 and AI083923.
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