University of Oulu

Shanthi KB, Fischer D, Sharma A, Kiviniemi A, Kaakinen M, Vainio SJ, Bart G. Human Adult Astrocyte Extracellular Vesicle Transcriptomics Study Identifies Specific RNAs Which Are Preferentially Secreted as EV Luminal Cargo. Genes. 2023; 14(4):853.

Human adult astrocyte extracellular vesicle transcriptomics study identifies specific RNAs which are preferentially secreted as EV luminal cargo

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Author: Balasubramanian Shanthi, Keerthanaa1; Fischer, Daniel2; Sharma, Abhishek1;
Organizations: 1FBMM, Disease Networks Research Unit, Laboratory of Developmental Biology, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Applied Statistical Methods, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Myllytie 1, 31600 Jokioinen, Finland
3Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, and Oulu Centre for Cell-Matrix Research, Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, 90014 Oulu, Finland
4Kvantum Institute, Infotech Oulu, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 10.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-09-29


Astrocytes are central nervous system (CNS)-restricted glial cells involved in synaptic function and CNS blood flow regulation. Astrocyte extracellular vesicles (EVs) participate in neuronal regulation. EVs carry RNAs, either surface-bound or luminal, which can be transferred to recipient cells. We characterized the secreted EVs and RNA cargo of human astrocytes derived from an adult brain. EVs were isolated by serial centrifugation and characterized with nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA), Exoview, and immuno-transmission electron microscopy (TEM). RNA from cells, EVs, and proteinase K/RNase-treated EVs was analyzed by miRNA-seq. Human adult astrocyte EVs ranged in sizes from 50 to 200 nm, with CD81 as the main tetraspanin marker and larger EVs positive for integrin β1. Comparison of the RNA between the cells and EVs identified RNA preferentially secreted in the EVs. In the case of miRNAs, enrichment analysis of their mRNA targets indicates that they are good candidates for mediating EV effects on recipient cells. The most abundant cellular miRNAs were also abundant in EVs, and the majority of their mRNA targets were found to be downregulated in mRNA-seq data, but the enrichment analysis lacked neuronal specificity. Proteinase K/RNase treatment of EV-enriched preparations identified RNAs secreted independently of EVs. Comparing the distribution of cellular and secreted RNA identifies the RNAs involved in intercellular communication via EVs.

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Series: Genes
ISSN: 2073-4425
ISSN-E: 2073-4425
ISSN-L: 2073-4425
Volume: 14
Issue: 4
Article number: 853
DOI: 10.3390/genes14040853
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
Funding: The research was funded by European Commission: MindGAP-H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2020, grant agreement ID: 829040.
EU Grant Number: (829040) MindGAP - Bridging the gap between Mind, Brain and Body: exosome role and monitoring
Copyright information: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (