Neutrophil Microvesicles from Healthy Control and Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Prevent the Inflammatory Activation of Macrophages.
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Microvesicles (MVs) are emerging as a novel means to enact cell-to-cell communication in inflammation. Here, we aimed to ascertain the ability of neutrophil-derived MVs to modulate target cell behaviour, the focus being the macrophage. MVs were generated in response to tumour necrosis factor-α, from healthy control neutrophils or those from rheumatoid arthritis patients. MVs were used to stimulate human monocyte-derived macrophages in vitro, or administered intra-articularly in the K/BxN mouse model of arthritis. A macrophage/fibroblast-like synoviocyte co-culture system was used to study the effects of vesicles on the crosstalk between these cells. We demonstrate a direct role for phosphatidylserine and annexin-A1 exposed by the MVs to counteract classical activation of the macrophages, and promote the release of transforming growth factor-β, respectively. Classically-activated macrophages exposed to neutrophil MVs no longer activated fibroblast-like synoviocytes in subsequent co-culture settings. Finally, intra-articular administration of neutrophil MVs from rheumatoid arthritis patients in arthritic mice affected the phenotype of joint macrophages. Altogether these data, with the identification of specific MV determinants, open new opportunities to modulate on-going inflammation in the synovia - mainly by affecting macrophage polarization and potentially also fibroblast-like synoviocytes - through the delivery of autologous or heterologous MVs produced from neutrophils.