Exosomal microRNA profiling in early and late onset preeclamptic pregnant women reflects pathophysiology.
Pillay P., Vatish M., Duarte R., Moodley J., Mackraj I.
Background: Preeclampsia is the leading cause of maternal and fetal mortality due to the inability to diagnose and treat the disorder early in pregnancy. This is attributed to the complex pathophysiology and unknown etiology of the disorder, which is modulated by several known and unknown factors. Exosomes have recently been implicated as possible mediators of the pathogenesis of preeclampsia, with, however, no evidence linking these nanovesicles to the pathophysiology of preeclampsia and its subtypes. Methods: To better understand the pathophysiological role of exosomes in preeclampsia, we have analyzed the exosomal microRNA in early and late onset preeclamptic women in comparison to their gestationally matched normotensive controls using Digital Direct Detection (NanoString Technologies). Results: For the first time, distinct exosomal microRNA signatures in early and late onset preeclampsia have been identified. Moreover, these signatures indicate that exosomes are involved in key pathological features associated with preeclampsia and differentiate between the subtypes. Conclusion: This study forms the basis for the diagnostic and functional validation of the identified signatures as biomarkers of preeclampsia and its subtypes.