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Extracellular Vesicles in Reproduction 3.0

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Endocrinology and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2024 | Viewed by 2030

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Linköping University, SE-58185 Linköping, Sweden
Interests: andrology; reproductive biotechnologies; gamete interactions
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Guest Editor
Department of Medicine and Animal Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Murcia, Campus de Espinardo, 30100 Murcia, Spain
Interests: spermatozoa; seminal plasma; extracellular vesicles; proteomics; cytokines
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary, University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain
Interests: animal reproduction
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The homeostasis of an individual depends on the ability of the differences cells, systems, and body compartments to interact via complex processes of communication. Among these, we know of humoral, hormonal, and nervous processes, and from the initial findings from the 1960s to today, we also understand the role of cell-derived vesicles in communicating cell-to-cell beyond intercellular organized contacts, as well as knowing of vesicles that circulate in intercellular matrixes and secretions, lymph fluid, or blood to gain contact and mediate stimulus and responses at long distances from the originating cell. These extracellular vesicles (EVs) are further distinguished as exosomes, microvesicles, or apoptotic bodies, the latter being mostly related to cell death and nearby, local contacts, while the former types are related to systemic cell communication. All EVs have in common that they carry loads of molecules (proteins, peptides, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids) or even organelles (apoptotic bodies) with the capacity to respond to stimuli, intervene in metabolic pathways, or influence gene expression. Often having the characteristics of the originating cell, they serve as biomarkers of origin and of function beyond a specific target. The reproductive system is able to communicate via EVs, with some EVs playing important roles in spermatogenesis, sperm maturation, oogenesis, and embryogenesis, as well as influencing other systems, including the immune system, to modulate immune responses during the development and function of hemi-allogeneic organs for the survival of the fetus throughout pregnancy.

This Special Issue of IJMS is focused on “Extracellular Vesicles in Reproduction”. The issue welcomes papers covering EVs’ characterization, quantification, disclosure of their load, and elucidation of their biogenesis and roles when modulating reproductive events. This Special Issue welcomes novel research, specifically that which deals with comparative aspects but also that in the form of methodological papers, in addition to insightful and critical reviews in these areas.

Prof. Dr. Heriberto Rodriguez-Martinez
Prof. Dr. Jordi Roca
Prof. Dr. Emilio A. Martinez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • extracellular vesicles
  • exosomes
  • microvesicles
  • apoptotic bodies
  • reproductive processes
  • spermatogenesis
  • sperm maturation
  • seminal plasma
  • spermatozoa
  • sperm capacitation
  • fertility
  • pregnancy
  • immune modulation
  • immune tolerance
  • proteomics
  • transcriptomics
  • epigenomics
  • metabolomics

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Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

22 pages, 2929 KiB  
Article
Customizing EV-CATCHER to Purify Placental Extracellular Vesicles from Maternal Plasma to Detect Placental Pathologies
by Megan I. Mitchell, Marwa Khalil, Iddo Z. Ben-Dov, Jesus Alverez-Perez, Nicholas P. Illsley, Stacy Zamudio, Abdulla Al-Khan and Olivier Loudig
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(10), 5102; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25105102 - 7 May 2024
Viewed by 761
Abstract
Placenta Accreta Spectrum (PAS) is a life-threatening condition in which placental trophoblastic cells abnormally invade the uterus, often up to the uterine serosa and, in extreme cases, tissues beyond the uterine wall. Currently, there is no clinical assay for the non-invasive detection of [...] Read more.
Placenta Accreta Spectrum (PAS) is a life-threatening condition in which placental trophoblastic cells abnormally invade the uterus, often up to the uterine serosa and, in extreme cases, tissues beyond the uterine wall. Currently, there is no clinical assay for the non-invasive detection of PAS, and only ultrasound and MRI can be used for its diagnosis. Considering the subjectivity of visual assessment, the detection of PAS necessitates a high degree of expertise and, in some instances, can lead to its misdiagnosis. In clinical practice, up to 50% of pregnancies with PAS remain undiagnosed until delivery, and it is associated with increased risk of morbidity/mortality. Although many studies have evaluated the potential of fetal biomarkers circulating in maternal blood, very few studies have evaluated the potential of circulating placental extracellular vesicles (EVs) and their miRNA contents for molecular detection of PAS. Thus, to purify placental EVs from maternal blood, we customized our robust ultra-sensitive immuno-purification assay, termed EV-CATCHER, with a monoclonal antibody targeting the membrane Placental Alkaline Phosphatase (PLAP) protein, which is unique to the placenta and present on the surface of placental EVs. Then, as a pilot evaluation, we compared the miRNA expression profiles of placental EVs purified from the maternal plasma of women diagnosed with placenta previa (controls, n = 16); placenta lying low in uterus but not invasive) to those of placental EVs purified from the plasma of women with placenta percreta (cases, n = 16), PAS with the highest level of invasiveness. Our analyses reveal that miRNA profiling of PLAP+ EVs purified from maternal plasma identified 40 differentially expressed miRNAs when comparing these two placental pathologies. Preliminary miRNA pathway enrichment and gene ontology analysis of the top 14 upregulated and top nine downregulated miRNAs in PLAP+ EVs, purified from the plasma of women diagnosed with placenta percreta versus those diagnosed with placenta previa, suggests a potential role in control of cellular invasion and motility that will require further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Vesicles in Reproduction 3.0)
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18 pages, 4089 KiB  
Article
Protein Profiling of Placental Extracellular Vesicles in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
by Neva Kandzija, Sophie Payne, William R. Cooke, Faheem Seedat, Roman Fischer and Manu Vatish
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(4), 1947; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25041947 - 6 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1008
Abstract
Throughout pregnancy, some degree of insulin resistance is necessary to divert glucose towards the developing foetus. In gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), insulin resistance is exacerbated in combination with insulin deficiency, causing new-onset maternal hyperglycaemia. The rapid reversal of insulin resistance following delivery strongly [...] Read more.
Throughout pregnancy, some degree of insulin resistance is necessary to divert glucose towards the developing foetus. In gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), insulin resistance is exacerbated in combination with insulin deficiency, causing new-onset maternal hyperglycaemia. The rapid reversal of insulin resistance following delivery strongly implicates the placenta in GDM pathogenesis. In this case–control study, we investigated the proteomic cargo of human syncytiotrophoblast-derived extracellular vesicles (STBEVs), which facilitate maternal–fetal signalling during pregnancy, in a UK-based cohort comprising patients with a gestational age of 38–40 weeks. Medium/large (m/l) and small (s) STBEVs were isolated from GDM (n = 4) and normal (n = 5) placentae using ex vivo dual-lobe perfusion and subjected to mass spectrometry. Bioinformatics were used to identify differentially carried proteins and mechanistic pathways. In m/lSTBEVs, 56 proteins were differently expressed while in sSTBEVs, no proteins reached statistical difference. Differences were also observed in the proteomic cargo between m/lSTBEVs and sSTBEVs, indicating that the two subtypes of STBEVs may have divergent modes of action and downstream effects. In silico functional enrichment analysis of differentially expressed proteins in m/lSTBEVs from GDM and normal pregnancy found positive regulation of cytoskeleton organisation as the most significantly enriched biological process. This work presents the first comparison of two populations of STBEVs’ protein cargos (m/l and sSTBEVs) from GDM and normal pregnancy isolated using placenta perfusion. Further investigation of differentially expressed proteins may contribute to an understanding of GDM pathogenesis and the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Vesicles in Reproduction 3.0)
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