Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Cell Biology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Release of annexin V-binding membrane microparticles from cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells after treatment with camptothecin

Jan Šimák, Karel Holada and Jaroslav G Vostal*

Author affiliations

Laboratory of Cellular Hematology, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Cell Biology 2002, 3:11  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-3-11

Published: 28 May 2002



Elevated plasma counts of endothelial microparticles (MP) have been demonstrated in various diseases with a vascular injury component. We used flow cytometry to study the MP-release from cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) stimulated by various agonists. MP-release by a topoisomerase I inhibitor camptothecin has been studied in detail.


Overnight stimulation of HUVEC with either LPS or TNFα, or 30 min stimulation with thrombin, phorbol-myristate-acetate, tissue plasminogen activator, or angiotensin-II did not cause a significant release of annexin V-binding MP. In contrast, induction of apoptosis with 5 μM camptothecin, documented by 60–70% desquamation of HUVEC culture, annexin V-binding to the cells and DNA-fragmentation, led to a release of annexin V-binding microparticles (~80,000 MP/103 cells). This microparticle-release was prevented by Z-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethyl-ketone (ZVAD). Lower concentration of camptothecin (500 nM) induced comparable microparticle-release without loss of the culture confluence and without increase in annexin V-binding to the cells or DNA-fragmentation. Analyzed microparticles were free of nucleic acids and 95% of microparticles were 0.3–1 μm in size. Double-labeling flow cytometry assay showed that all annexin V-binding Microparticles expressed CD59 but only approximately 50% of these also expressed CD105.


Camptothecin treated HUVEC released different populations of annexin V-binding membrane microparticles at early stage after proapoptotic stimulation before detection of phosphatidylserine exposure on the cells or DNA fragmentation. The microparticle-release was ZVAD sensitive but was not enhanced at the executive phase of apoptosis. These observations offer a new insight into microparticle-release as a marker of endothelial stimulation and injury.