Alterations in platelet function and cell-derived microvesicles in recently menopausal women: Relationship to metabolic syndrome and atherogenic risk

Muthuvel Jayachandran, Robert D. Litwiller, Brian D. Lahr, Kent R. Bailey, Whyte G. Owen, Sharon L. Mulvagh, John A. Heit, Howard N. Hodis, S. Mitchell Harman, Virginia M. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


A woman's risk for metabolic syndrome (MS) increases at menopause, with an associated increase in risk for cardiovascular disease. We hypothesized that early menopause-related changes in platelet activity and concentrations of microvesicles derived from activated blood and vascular cells provide a mechanistic link to the early atherothrombotic process. Thus, platelet functions and cellular origin of blood-borne microvesicles in recently menopausal women (n = 118) enrolled in the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study were correlated with components of MS and noninvasive measures of cardiovascular disease [carotid artery intima medial thickness (CIMT), coronary artery calcium (CAC) score, and endothelial reactive hyperemic index (RHI)]. Specific to individual components of the MS pentad, platelet number increased with increasing waist circumference, and platelet secretion of ATP and expression of P-selectin decreased with increasing blood glucose (p = 0.005) and blood pressure (p < 0.05), respectively. Waist circumference and systolic blood pressure were independently associated with monocyte- and endothelium-derived microvesicles (p < 0.05). Platelet-derived and total procoagulant phosphatidylserine-positive microvesicles, and systolic blood pressure correlated with CIMT (p < 0.05), but not with CAC or RHI. In summary, among recently menopausal women, specific platelet functions and concentrations of circulating activated cell membrane-derived procoagulant microvesicles change with individual components of MS. These cellular changes may explain in part how menopause contributes to MS and, eventually, to cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-822
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of cardiovascular translational research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011



  • Atherosclerosis
  • Carotid intima medial thickening
  • Coronary calcification
  • Endothelial function
  • Monocytes
  • Platelet secretion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Genetics(clinical)

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