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INTRODUCTION: Placental syncytiotrophoblast (STB) release extracellular vesicles (STB-EVs) that communicate physiological and pathological placental signals to the maternal organs. STB-EV release also increases in preeclampsia (PE). Here we explored the cargo of PP13 in STB-EVs from PE versus control placentas. METHODS: Placentae were harvested following cesarean section deliveries, and dual placental lobe perfusion was used to harvest STB-EV. Maternal side perfusate was centrifuged at 10,000 × g to yield the STB microvesicles, and then at 150,000 × g to yield STB exosomes. Total STB-EVs (tSTB-EVs) were collected using a one step 150,000 × g centrifugation. Placental origin and size distribution were assessed by Western blotting and Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis, respectively. PP13 expression was determined by Western blot and ELISA. RESULTS: Placental alkaline phosphatase (PLAP; a STB specific marker) was present in all preparations. Total tSTB-EVs and STB-EXs also expressed the exosome markers such as the Apoptosis-Linked Gene 2-Interacting Protein X (Alix) and the cluster differentiation protein 9 (CD9). PP13 was localized to the outer surface and intra-vesicular compartments of all fractions. Surface to total PP13 ratios were ∼1:1 for all STB-EV preparations. In contrast to the previously reported higher circulating concentrations of soluble PP13 in PE, significantly lower levels of PP13, normalized to total vesicular protein, were observed in PE samples. PP13 reduction in all STB-EVs' sub-populations may be attributed to differences in gestational age (GA). A simple correction for GA suggested that PE may be an important influence. CONCLUSIONS: PP13 is located in and on all types of STB-EVs. Circulating PP13 may therefore be either soluble or associated with extracellular vesicles with different pathophysiological effects in the maternal circulation.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





17 - 25


Biomarkers, Exosomes, Extracellular vesicles, Galectins, Impaired placentation, LGALS13, Placenta, Preeclampsia