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SELECTBIO Conferences Circulating Biomarkers, Exosomes & Liquid Biopsy Asia 2019

Ramkumar Menon's Biography

Ramkumar Menon, Distinguished John D. Stobo, MD, Endowed Chair and Professor, The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB)

Dr. Ramkumar Menon is a tenured Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology/Cell biology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, TX. He is also the Director of the Division of Basic Science and Translational Research at UTMB. The primary focus of his lab is to design strategies to reduce PTB risk using extracellular vesicles as a drug delivery vehicle to treat the fetal inflammatory response. His lab develops various Organ-on-Chip models for various intrauterine organ systems. His research is funded by multiple grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH, USA) and other non-federal agencies. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Dr. Menon has mentored over 30 medical and postgraduate students. Dr. Menon is also the executive director of Preterm birth International Collaborative, not-for-profit research and educational organization involved in preterm birth research.

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Role of Extracellular Vesicles as Communication Signals between Feto-Maternal Tissues

Tuesday, 10 September 2019 at 16:00

Add to Calendar ▼2019-09-10 16:00:002019-09-10 17:00:00Europe/LondonRole of Extracellular Vesicles as Communication Signals between Feto-Maternal TissuesCirculating Biomarkers, Exosomes and Liquid Biopsy Asia 2019 in Seoul, KoreaSeoul,

During pregnancy, feto-maternal communication can be mediated through extracellular vesicles. Exosomes carry cellular signals and traffic between fetal and maternal tissues to produce functional changes in recipient cells. Exosomes may function as a biomarker indicative of the physiologic status of their tissue of origin. These properties of exosomes during pregnancy are not well studied. To test exosome trafficking and function, we utilized a transgenic mouse model containing membrane-targeted, red fluorescent protein tdTomato (mT) and enhanced green fluorescent protein (mG) Cyclic recombinase (Cre)-reporter construct expressed only in fetal tissues. This model allows fetal tissues and their exosomes to express mT under normal conditions or mG expression if fetal tissues are exposed to Cre that will excise mT. As maternal tissue remains negative for this construct, mT/mG expression and their switching can be utilized to determine fetal specific cell and exosome trafficking. mT/mG homozygous males were mated with wild type (WT) females to have all fetal tissues express the mT/mG allele.  Red florescence due to mT expression of the mT/mG allele in fetal tissues (placenta, fetal membranes) was confirmed by confocal microscopy on embryonic day (E) 16. Localization of fetal exosomes in maternal uterine tissues were performed by immunostaining for exosome marker CD81 and mT expression followed by confocal microscopy. Fetal exosomes (mT+) in maternal plasma were immunoprecipitated using anti-mT and followed by confirmation by flow cytometry.  To further illustrate the fidelity of fetal exosomes in maternal samples, exosomes bioengineered to contain Cre (1.0x1010 exosomes) were injected intraperitoneally (IP) on E13. On E16, fetal (placenta and fetal membranes) tissues were imaged to show mT to mG transition.mG expressing exomes were localized in maternal tissues (confocal microscopy) and plasma (flow cytometry). Mating between male with the mT/mG construct and null female resulted in fetal tissues and their exosomes expressing mT+.Total fetal exosomes in maternal plasma was about 35%. mT+ exosomes were isolated from maternal plasma and immunostaining localized mT+ exosomes in maternal uterine tissues. Maternal IP injection of Cre-enriched exosomes crossed placenta, excised mT from the mT/mG construct in the fetal tissues and caused mG expression in fetal cells. Further, mG+ exosomes released from fetal cells were isolated from maternal blood. Additionally, we show trafficking of mT+ fetal macrophage to maternal uterine tissues. We report feto-maternal and maternal-fetal trafficking of exosomes indicative of paracrine signaling during pregnancy. Exosomes from the maternal side can produce functional changes in fetal tissues. Trafficking of exosomes suggests their potential role in pregnancy as biomarkers of fetal functions and usefulness as a carrier of drugs and other cargo to the fetal side during pregnancy. Isolation and characterization of fetal exosomes can advance fetal research without performing invasive procedures.

Add to Calendar ▼2019-09-09 00:00:002019-09-10 00:00:00Europe/LondonCirculating Biomarkers, Exosomes and Liquid Biopsy Asia 2019Circulating Biomarkers, Exosomes and Liquid Biopsy Asia 2019 in Seoul, KoreaSeoul,