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Placenta-derived extracellular vesicles: their cargo and possible functions

Familari, Mary, Cronqvist, Tina, Masoumi, Zahra, Hansson, Stefan R.
Reproduction, fertility, and development 2017 v.29 no.3 pp. 433-447
RNA, albumins, data collection, exosomes, humans, lipids, meta-analysis, plasminogen activator inhibitors, pre-eclampsia, proteomics
The literature on extracellular vesicles consists of rapidly expanding and often contradictory information. In this paper we attempt to review what is currently known regarding extracellular vesicles released specifically from human placental syncytiotrophoblast cells with a focus on the common but complex pregnancy-associated syndrome pre-eclampsia, where the level of syncytiotrophoblast extracellular vesicle release is significantly increased. We review common methods for syncytiotrophoblast extracellular vesicle derivation and isolation and we discuss the cargo of syncytiotrophoblast extracellular vesicles including proteins, RNA and lipids and their possible functions. A meta-analysis of available trophoblast-derived extracellular vesicle proteomic datasets revealed only three proteins in common: albumin, fibronectin-1 and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, suggesting some variability in vesicle cargo, most likely reflecting stage and cell type of origin. We discuss the possible sources of variability that may have led to the low number of common markers, which has led us to speculate that markers and density in common use may not be strict criteria for identifying and isolating placenta-derived exosomes.