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1.  Serum exosomes in pregnancy-associated immune modulation and neuroprotection during CNS autoimmunity 
Clinical immunology (Orlando, Fla.)  2013;149(2):236-243.
In multiple sclerosis (MS) and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), relapses are markedly reduced during pregnancy. Exosomes are lipid-bound vesicles and are more abundant in the serum during pregnancy. We demonstrate that serum exosomes suppress T cell activation, promote the maturation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPC), and pregnancy exosomes facilitate OPC migration into active CNS lesions. However, exosomes derived from both pregnant and non-pregnant mice reduced the severity of established EAE. Thus, during pregnancy, serum exosomes modulate the immune and central nervous systems and contribute to pregnancy-associated suppression of EAE.
PMCID: PMC3778091  PMID: 23706172
Pregnancy; Multiple Sclerosis; Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis; Exosome; Oligodendrocyte Precursor Cell
2.  Extracellular Vesicles and Their Convergence with Viral Pathways 
Advances in Virology  2012;2012:767694.
Extracellular vesicles (microvesicles), such as exosomes and shed microvesicles, contain a variety of molecules including proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. Microvesicles appear mostly to originate from multivesicular bodies or to bud from the plasma membrane. Here, we review the convergence of microvesicle biogenesis and aspects of viral assembly and release pathways. Herpesviruses and retroviruses, amongst others, recruit several elements from the microvesicle biogenesis pathways for functional virus release. In addition, noninfectious pleiotropic virus-like vesicles can be released, containing viral and cellular components. We highlight the heterogeneity of microvesicle function during viral infection, addressing microvesicles that can either block or enhance infection, or cause immune dysregulation through bystander action in the immune system. Finally, endogenous retrovirus and retrotransposon elements deposited in our genomes millions of years ago can be released from cells within microvesicles, suggestive of a viral origin of the microvesicle system or perhaps of an evolutionary conserved system of virus-vesicle codependence. More research is needed to further elucidate the complex function of the various microvesicles produced during viral infection, possibly revealing new therapeutic intervention strategies.
PMCID: PMC3410301  PMID: 22888349
3.  Induction of pregnancy during established EAE halts progression of CNS autoimmune injury via pregnancy-specific serum factors 
Journal of neuroimmunology  2010;230(1-2):105-113.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease of the CNS involving T cell targeting of myelin antigens. During pregnancy, women with MS experience decreased relapses followed by a postpartum disease flare. Using murine experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, we recapitulate pregnancy findings in both relapsing and progressive models. Pregnant mice produced less TNF-╬▒, IL-17 and exhibited reduced CNS pathology relative to nonpregnant controls. Microparticles, called exosomes, shed into the blood during pregnancy were isolated and found to significantly suppress T cell activation relative to those from nonpregnant controls. These results demonstrate the immunosuppressive potential of pregnancy and serum-derived pregnancy exosomes.
PMCID: PMC3021646  PMID: 20950868
Multiple Sclerosis; Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis; Pregnancy; Exosomes; Autoimmunity

Results 1-3 (3)