Back to Journals » Vascular Health and Risk Management » Volume 6

Detection of circulating microparticles by flow cytometry: influence of centrifugation, filtration of buffer, and freezing

Authors Dey-Hazra E, Hertel B, Kirsch T, Woywodt A, Lovric S, Haller H, Haubitz M, Erdbruegger U

Published 6 December 2010 Volume 2010:6 Pages 1125—1133


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Emily Dey-Hazra1* Barbara Hertel1* Torsten Kirsch1 Alexander Woywodt2 Svjetlana Lovric1 Hermann Haller1 Marion Haubitz1 Uta Erdbruegger1,3
1Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany; 2Renal Unit, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Preston, Lancashire, UK; 3Division of Nephrology, University of Virginia at Charlottesville, VA, USA; *These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract: The clinical importance of microparticles resulting from vesiculation of platelets and other blood cells is increasingly recognized, although no standardized method exists for their measurement. Only a few studies have examined the analytical and preanalytical steps and variables affecting microparticle detection. We focused our analysis on microparticle detection by flow cytometry. The goal of our study was to analyze the effects of different centrifugation protocols looking at different durations of high and low centrifugation speeds. We also analyzed the effect of filtration of buffer and long-term freezing on microparticle quantification, as well as the role of Annexin V in the detection of microparticles. Absolute and platelet-derived microparticles were 10- to 15-fold higher using initial lower centrifugation speeds at 1500 × g compared with protocols using centrifugation speeds at 5000 × g (P < 0.01). A clear separation between true events and background noise was only achieved using higher centrifugation speeds. Filtration of buffer with a 0.2 µm filter reduced a significant amount of background noise. Storing samples for microparticle detection at -80°C decreased microparticle levels at days 28, 42, and 56 (P < 0.05 for all comparisons with fresh samples). We believe that staining with Annexin V is necessary to distinguish true events from cell debris or precipitates. Buffers should be filtered and fresh samples should be analyzed, or storage periods will have to be standardized. Higher centrifugation speeds should be used to minimize contamination by smaller size platelets.

Keywords: circulating microparticles, detection method, flow cytometry

Creative Commons License © 2010 The Author(s). This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.