Fluorescence-tagged salivary small extracellular vesicles as a nanotool in early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is generally asymptomatic at earlier stages. At an early stage, there is an extensive progression in the neuropathological hallmarks, although, at this stage, diagnosis is not possible with currently available diagnostic methods. Therefore, the pressing need is for susceptibility risk biomarkers that can aid in better diagnosis and therapeutics as well can objectively serve to measure the endpoint of disease progression. The role of small extracellular vesicles (sEV) in the progression of neurodegenerative diseases could be potent in playing a revolutionary role in biomarker discovery.

In this study, the salivary sEV were efficiently isolated by chemical precipitation combined with ultrafiltration from subjects (PD = 70, healthy controls = 26, and prodromal PD = 08), followed by antibody-based validation with CD63, CD9, GAPDH, Flotillin-1, and L1CAM. Morphological characterization of the isolated sEV through transmission electron microscopy. The quantification of sEV was achieved by fluorescence (lipid-binding dye-labeled) nanoparticle tracking analysis and antibody-based (CD63 Alexa fluor 488 tagged sEV) nanoparticle tracking analysis. The total alpha-synuclein (α-synTotal) in salivary sEVs cargo was quantified by ELISA. The disease severity staging confirmation for n = 18 clinically diagnosed Parkinson’s disease patients was done by 99mTc-TRODAT-single-photon emission computed tomography.

Researchers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences observed a significant increase in total sEVs concentration in PD patients than in the healthy control (HC), where fluorescence lipid-binding dye-tagged sEV were observed to be higher in PD (p = 0.0001) than in the HC using NTA with a sensitivity of 94.34%. In the prodromal PD cases, the fluorescence lipid-binding dye-tagged sEV concentration was found to be higher (p = 0.008) than in HC. This result was validated through anti-CD63 tagged sEV (p = 0.0006) with similar sensitivity of 94.12%. The researchers further validated their findings with the ELISA based on α-synTotal concentration in sEV, where it was observed to be higher in PD (p = 0.004) with a sensitivity of 88.24%. The caudate binding ratios in 99mTc-TRODAT-SPECT represent a positive correlation with sEV concentration (r = 0.8117 with p = 0.0112).

In this study, for the first time, researchers have found that the fluorescence-tagged sEV has the potential to screen the progression of disease with clinically acceptable sensitivity and can be a potent early detection method for PD.

Rastogi S, Rani K, Rai S, Singh R, Bharti PS, Sharma V, Sahu J, Kapoor V, Vishwakarma P, Garg S, Gholap SL, Inampudi KK, Modi GP, Rani N, Tripathi M, Srivastava A, Rajan R, Nikolajeff F, Kumar S. (2023) Fluorescence-tagged salivary small extracellular vesicles as a nanotool in early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. BMC Med 21(1):335. [article]

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