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J Extracell Vesicles



Inflammation potentiates miR-939 expression and packaging into small extracellular vesicles.


Ramanathan S, Shenoda BB, Lin Z, Alexander GM, Huppert A, Sacan A, Ajit SK
J Extracell Vesicles. 2019; 8(1):1650595.
PMID: 31489147.


Extracellular RNA in circulation mediates intercellular communication in normal and pathological processes. One mode of circulating miRNA transport in bodily fluids is within 30-150 nm small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) or exosomes. Uptake of sEVs can regulate gene expression in recipient cells enabling circulating miRNAs to exert paracrine and systemic effects. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a debilitating pain disorder characterized by chronic inflammation. Our previous investigations identified a significant decrease of hsa-miR-939 in whole blood from CRPS patients compared to control; we also observed that overexpression of miR-939 can negatively regulate several proinflammatory genes . Though downregulated in whole blood, miR-939 was significantly upregulated in sEVs isolated from patient serum. Here we investigated miR-939 packaging into sEVs under inflammation induced by monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), a chemokine that is upregulated in CRPS patients. Stimulation of THP-1 monocytes by MCP-1 led to elevated levels of miR-939 in sEVs, which was abrogated using inhibitors of exosome secretion. miRNAs loaded into exosomes largely contain short miRNA sequence motifs called EXOmotifs. Mutation analysis of miR-939 showed that EXOmotif is one of the possible cellular mechanisms responsible for packaging miR-939 into sEVs. We confirmed gene expression changes in recipient cells following the uptake of sEVs enriched in miR-939 using RNA sequencing. Additionally, our data from primary immune cell-derived sEVs of CRPS patients and controls demonstrate that while the relative expression of miR-939 is higher in sEVs derived from B cells, T cells and NK cells relative to monocyte-derived sEVs in controls, only the B cell-derived sEVs showed a significantly higher level of miR-939 in CRPS patients. Differential miRNA sorting into exosomes and its functional impact on recipient cells may contribute to the underlying pathophysiology of CRPS.