Parvovirus B19-induced vascular damage in the heart is associated with elevated circulating endothelial microparticles

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Background Diagnosis of viral myocarditis is difficult by clinical criteria but facilitated by detection of inflammation and viral genomes in endomyocardial biopsies. Parvovirus B19 (B19V) targets endothelial cells where viral nucleic acid is exclusively detected in the heart. Microparticles (MPs) are released after cell damage or activation of specific cells. We aimed to investigate whether circulating endothelial MPs (EMPs) in human and experimental models of myocarditis are associated with B19V myocarditis. Methods MPs were investigated in patients with myocarditis (n = 54), divided into two groups: B19V+ (n = 23) and B19V- (n = 31) and compared with healthy controls (HCTR, n = 25). MPs were also investigated in B19V transgenic mice (B19V-NS1+) and mice infected with coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3). MPs were analyzed with fluorescent activated cell sorting (FACS). Results In human samples, EMP subpopulation patterns were significantly different in B19V+ compared to B19V-And HCTR (p<0.001), with an increase of apoptotic but not activated EMPs. Other MPs such as platelet- (PMPs) leukocyte-(LMPs) and monocyte-derived MPs (MMPs) showed less specific patterns. Significantly different levels of EMPs were observed in transgenic B19V-NS1+ mice compared with CVB3-infected mice (p<0.001). Conclusion EMP subpopulations are different in B19V+ myocarditis in humans and transgenic B19V mice reflecting vascular damage. EMP profiles might permit differentiation between endothelial-cell-mediated diseases like myocardial B19V infection and other causes of myocarditis.




Bachelier, K., Biehl, S., Schwarz, V., Kindermann, I., Kandolf, R., Sauter, M., … Böhm, M. (2017). Parvovirus B19-induced vascular damage in the heart is associated with elevated circulating endothelial microparticles. PLoS ONE, 12(5).

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