Researchers look to extracellular vesicles for different treatments for opioid use disorder

From HPC Live by Kenny Walter

As the opioid epidemic rages on, researchers are hoping to discover how different patients can benefit from different treatment regimens.

A team, led by Amir Levine, MD, Columbia University, evaluated plasma-derived extracellular vesicle signatures and how they differ in patients who responded to 2 pharmacologically contrasting treatments for opioid use disorder—the µOR agonist methadone, and the µOR antagonist naltrexone—in a proof of concept study.

In the study, the researchers obtained blood samples from patients with blood samples from patients with opioid use disorder who remained abstinent from illicit opioids for at least 3 months during treatment with methadone (n = 5) and naltrexone (n = 5). The study also included healthy controls (n = 5). Extracellular vesicles were isolated from plasma and histones were isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs).

The researchers then analyzed extracellular vesicles for lipid and histone post-translational modification (PTM) content using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and determined extra vesicle miRNA cargo was determined by RNA sequencing.

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