Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are secreted by cells from their membrane within circulation and body fluids. Knowledge of the involvement of EVs in pathogenesis of lung diseases is increasing. Researchers from Siena University Hospital aimed to evaluate the expression of exosomal surface epitopes in a cohort of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) patients followed in two Italian Referral Centres for Interstitial Lung Diseases, comparing them with a group of healthy volunteers. Ninety IPF patients (median age and interquartile range (IQR) 71 (66–75) years; 69 males) were selected retrospectively. Blood samples were obtained from patients before starting antifibrotic therapy. A MACSPlex Exosome Kit, human, (Miltenyi Biotec, Bergisch-Gladbach, Germany), to detect 37 exosomal surface epitopes, was used. This multicenter study showed for the first time the expression of surface epitopes on EVs from IPF patients, providing interesting data on the communication signatures/exosomal profile in serum from IPF patients and new insights into the pathogenesis of the disease and a promising reliability in predicting mid-term survival of IPF patients.
Flowchart of the study design
The description of the study design from patient selection to characterization of extracellular vesicles.