Macrophages release a variety of extracellular vesicles (EVs). Here we describe a previously unreported class of EVs that are released from macrophages in response to Escherichia coli endotoxin, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), that we have named “macrolets” since they are extruded as large “droplets” released from macrophages. Morphologically, macrolets are anuclear, bounded by a single lipid membrane and structurally dependent on an actin cytoskeleton. Macrolets are enriched in tetraspanins and separable on this basis from their parent macrophages. Macrolets are distinguished from classic exosomes by their larger size (10–30 μm), discoid shape, and the presence of organelles. Macrolets are rich in both interleukin 6 (IL-6) and interleukin 6 receptor (IL-6R),and are capable of trapping and killing E. coli in association with production of reactive oxygen species. Our observations offer insights into the mechanisms by which macrophage activities may be amplified in sites of infection, inflammation, and healing.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes