Selective Isolation of Liver-Derived Extracellular Vesicles Redefines Performance of miRNA Biomarkers for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Extracellular Vesicles

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease. Definitive diagnosis of the progressive form, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), requires liver biopsy, which is highly invasive and unsuited to early disease or tracking changes. Inadequate performance of current minimally invasive tools is a critical barrier to managing NAFLD burden. Altered circulating miRNA profiles show potential for minimally invasive tracking of NAFLD. The selective isolation of the circulating extracellular vesicle subset that originates from hepatocytes presents an important opportunity for improving the performance of miRNA biomarkers of liver disease. The expressions of miR-122, -192, and -128-3p were quantified in total cell-free RNA, global EVs, and liver-specific EVs from control, NAFL, and NASH subjects. In ASGR1+ EVs, each miR biomarker trended positively with disease severity and expression was significantly higher in NASH subjects compared with controls. The c-statistic defining the performance of ASGR1+ EV derived miRNAs was invariably >0.78. This trend was not observed in the alternative sources. This study demonstrates the capacity for liver-specific isolation to transform the performance of EV-derived miRNA biomarkers for NAFLD, robustly distinguishing patients with NAFL and NASH.

View full article

Recent Publications

Cigarette smoke (CS) represents one of the most relevant environmental risk factors for several chronic pathologies. Tissue damage caused by CS exposure is mediated, at least in part, by oxidative stress induced by its toxic and pro-oxidant components. Evidence demonstrates that extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by various cell types exposed to CS extract (CSE) are characterized by altered biochemical cargo and gained pathological properties. In the present study, we evaluated the content of oxidized proteins and phospholipid fatty acid profiles of EVs released by human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells treated with CSE. This specific molecular characterization has hitherto not been performed. After confirmation that CSE reduces viability of BEAS-2B cells and elevates intracellular ROS levels, in a dose-dependent manner, we demonstrated that 24 h exposure at 1% CSE, a concentration that only slight modifies cell viability but increases ROS levels, was able to increase carbonylated protein levels in cells and released EVs. The release of oxidatively modified proteins via EVs might represent a mechanism used by cells to remove toxic proteins in order to avoid their intracellular overloading. Moreover, 1% CSE induced only few changes in the fatty acid asset in BEAS-2B cell membrane phospholipids, whereas several rearrangements were observed in EVs released by CSE-treated cells. The impact of changes in acyl chain composition of CSE-EVs accounted for the increased saturation levels of phospholipids, a membrane parameter that might influence EV stability, uptake and, at least in part, EV-mediated biological effects. The present in vitro study adds new information concerning the biochemical composition of CSE-related EVs, useful to predict their biological effects on target cells. Furthermore, the information regarding the presence of oxidized proteins and the specific membrane features of CSE-related EVs can be useful to define the utilization of circulating EVs as marker for diagnosing of CS-induced lung damage and/or CS-related diseases.

No items found.
No items found.
No items found.