Resistance Exercise Differentially Alters Extracellular Vesicle Size and Subpopulation Characteristics in Healthy Men and Women: An Observational Cohort Study

Extracellular Vesicles

Conkright, William R., Meaghan E. Beckner, Adam J. Sterczala, Qi Mi, Mita Lovalekar, Amrita Sahu, Kellen T. Krajewski, et al. 2022. “Resistance Exercise Differentially Alters Extracellular Vesicle Size and Subpopulation Characteristics in Healthy Men and Women: An Observational Cohort Study.” Physiological Genomics, July.

Extracellular vesicles (EV) are established mediators of adaptation to exercise. Currently, there are no published data comparing changes in EVs between men and women after resistance exercise. PURPOSE: We tested the hypothesis that EV profiles would demonstrate a sex-specific signature following resistance exercise. METHODS: Ten men and 10 women completed an acute heavy resistance exercise test for back squats using 75% of their one-repetition maximum. Blood was drawn before and immediately after exercise. EVs were isolated from plasma using size exclusion chromatography and stained with antibodies associated with exosomes (CD63), microvesicles (VAMP3), apoptotic bodies (THSD1), and a marker for skeletal muscle EVs (SGCA). RESULTS: CD63+ EV concentration and proportion of total EVs increased 23% (p=0.006) and 113% (p=0.005) in both sexes. EV mean size declined in men (p=0.020), but not women, suggesting a relative increase in small EVs in men. VAMP3+ EV concentration and proportion of total EVs increased by 93% (p=0.025) and 61% (p=0.030) in men and women, respectively. SGCA+ EV concentration was 69% higher in women compared to men independent of time (p=0.007). Differences were also observed for CD63, VAMP3, and SGCA median fluorescence intensity, suggesting altered surface protein density according to sex and time. There were no significant effects of time or sex on THSD1+ EVs or fluorescence intensity. CONCLUSION: EV profiles, particularly among exosome-associated and muscle-derived EVs, exhibit sex-specific differences in response to resistance exercise which should be further studied to understand their relationship to training adaptations.

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