Researchers find exosome-containing extracellular vesicles contribute to the transport of resveratrol metabolites in the bloodstream

Exosomes are extracellular vesicles (EVs) that regulate intercellular signaling by transferring small RNAs, proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and other metabolites to local or distant organs, including the brain, by crossing the blood–brain barrier. However, the transport of (poly)phenols in human EVs has not yet been described. Therefore, a team led by researchers at CEBAS-CSIC, Spain aimed here to explore (i) whether resveratrol and (or) its derived metabolites are found in the cargo of human plasma exosome-containing EVs (E-EVs), (ii) when this incorporation occurs, and (iii) whether resveratrol intake stimulates the release of E-EVs. Thus, in a pharmacokinetic study, healthy volunteers (n = 16) consumed 1 capsule (420 mg resveratrol) in the evening before attending the clinic and one more capsule on the day of the pharmacokinetics. The plasma and the isolated E-EVs were analyzed using UPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS. Of 17 metabolites in the plasma, 9 were identified in the E-EVs, but not free resveratrol. The kinetic profiles of resveratrol metabolites were similar in the plasma and the E-EVs, a higher metabolite concentration being detected in the plasma than in the E-EVs. However, the plasma/E-EVs ratio decreased in the gut microbial metabolites, suggesting their better encapsulation efficiency in E-EVs. In addition, glucuronide conjugates of resveratrol, dihydroresveratrol, and lunularin were incorporated into the E-EVs more efficiently than their corresponding sulfates despite glucuronides reaching lower plasma concentrations. Notably, more E-EVs were detected 10 h after resveratrol consumption. This exploratory study provides the first evidence that (i) resveratrol metabolites are transported by E-EVs, with a preference for glucuronide vs. sulfates, (ii) the gut microbial metabolites concentration and kinetic profiles are closely similar in E-EVs and plasma, and (iii) resveratrol intake elicits E-EVs secretion. Overall, these results open new research avenues on the possible role of E-EVs in (poly)phenol health effects.

Iglesias-Aguirre CE, Ávila-Gálvez MA, de las Hazas MCL, Dávalos A, Espín JC. (2022) Exosome-Containing Extracellular Vesicles Contribute to the Transport of Resveratrol Metabolites in the Bloodstream: A Human Pharmacokinetic Study. Nutrients 14(17), 3632. [article]

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