Dixon, C. Luke; Sheller-Miller, Samantha; Saade, George R.; Fortunato, Stephen J.; Lai, Andrew; Palma, Carlos; Guanzon, Dominic; Salomon, Carlos; Menon, Ramkumar
Our objective was to determine the amniotic fluid-derived exosomal proteomic profile in patients who had spontaneous preterm birth (PTB) or preterm premature rupture of membranes (pPROM) compared with those who delivered at term. A cross-sectional study of a retrospective cohort was used to quantify and determine the protein content of exosomes present in amniotic fluid, in PTB or pPROM, and normal term labor (TL) or term not in labor (TNIL) pregnancies. Exosomes were isolated by differential centrifugation and quantified using nanocrystals (Qdot) coupled to CD63 and placental alkaline phosphatase (PLAP) by fluorescence nanoparticle tracking analysis. The exosomal proteomic profile was identified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, and a small ion library was constructed to quantify the proteomic data by Sequential Window Acquisition of All Theoretical analysis. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis determined canonical pathways and biofunctions associated with dysregulated proteins. Amniotic fluid exosomes have similar shape and quantity regardless of the conditions; however, the PLAP/CD63 ratios for TL, PTB, and pPROM were significantly higher (similar to 3.8-, similar to 4.4-, and similar to 3.5-fold, respectively) compared with TNIL. The PLAP/CD63 ratio was also significantly higher (similar to 1.3-fold) in PTB compared with pPROM. Biological functions primarily indicated nonspecific inflammatory response regardless of condition, but unique profiles were also identified in cases (PTB and pPROM) compared with term. Amniotic fluid exosomes provide information specific to normal and abnormal parturition. Inflammatory marker enrichment and its uniqueness in term and preterm pregnancies support the value of exosomes in determining underlying physiology associated with term and preterm parturition.