ijms-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Extracellular Vesicles in Reproduction"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Heriberto Rodriguez-Martinez
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Linköping University, SE-58185 Linköping, Sweden
Interests: andrology; reproductive biotechnologies; gamete interactions
Prof. Jordi Roca
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Department of Medicine and Animal Surgery. Faculty of Veterinary ScienceUniversity of Murcia. Campus de Espinardo, 30100 Murcia, Spain
Interests: spermatozoa; seminal plasma; extracellular vesicles; proteomics; cytokines
Prof. Emilio A. Martinez
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary, University of Murcia, 30100, Murcia, SPAIN.
Interests: animal reproduction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The homeostasis of an individual depends basically on the ability of the differences cells, systems, and body compartments to interact via complex processes of communication. Among these, we know of humoral, hormonal, and nervous processes, and from the initial findings from the 1960s to today we include the role of cell-derived vesicles that communicate cell-to-cell beyond intercellular organized contacts, and vesicles that circulate in intercellular matrixes and secretions, lymph fluid, or blood to gain contact and mediate stimulus and responses at long distances from the originating cell. These extracellular vesicles (EVs) are further distinguished as exosomes, microvesicles, or apoptotic bodies, the latter being mostly related to cell death and nearby, local contacts, while the first names are related to systemic cell communication. All EVs have in common that they carry loads of molecules (proteins, peptides, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids) or even organelles (apoptotic bodies) with the capacity of respond to stimuli, intervene in metabolic pathways, or influence gene expression. Often having the characteristics of the originating cell, they serve as biomarkers of origin and of function beyond a specific target. The reproductive system is able to communicate via EVs, with some EVs playing important roles in spermatogenesis, sperm maturation, oogenesis, and embryogenesis, as well as influencing other systems, including the immune system to modulate immune responses, during the development and function of hemi-allogeneic organs as the placenta or the survival of the foetus throughout pregnancy.

This Issue of IJMS is focused on "Extracellular Vesicles in Reproduction”. The Issue welcomes papers covering EVs characterization, quantification, disclosure of their load, and elucidation of their biogenesis and roles when modulating reproductive events. The Issue welcomes novel research, certainly of comparative aspects but also of methodological papers, as well as insightful, critical reviews in these areas.

Prof. Heriberto Rodriguez-Martinez
Prof. Jordi Roca
Prof. Emilio A. Martinez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • extracellular vesicles
  • exosomes
  • microvesicles
  • apoptotic bodies
  • reproductive processes
  • spermatogenesis
  • sperm maturation
  • seminal plasma
  • spermatozoa
  • sperm capacitation
  • fertility
  • pregnancy
  • immune modulation
  • immune tolerance
  • proteomics
  • transcriptomics
  • epigenomics
  • metabolomics

Published Papers (7 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Bovine Follicular Fluid and Extracellular Vesicles Derived from Follicular Fluid Alter the Bovine Oviductal Epithelial Cells Transcriptome
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5365; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155365 - 28 Jul 2020
Abstract
While follicular fluid (FF) is well known to provide an optimal environment for oogenesis, its functional roles following its release into the oviduct during ovulation are currently elusive. We hypothesized that FF and FF-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) may be conveyors of signals capable [...] Read more.
While follicular fluid (FF) is well known to provide an optimal environment for oogenesis, its functional roles following its release into the oviduct during ovulation are currently elusive. We hypothesized that FF and FF-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) may be conveyors of signals capable of inducing functionally-relevant transcriptional responses in oviductal cells. The aim of this study was, therefore, to evaluate the effect of FF and FF-derived EVs on the transcriptome of primary bovine oviductal epithelial cells (BOECs). We examined the gene expression of BOECs in three conditions: BOECs cultured with FF, FF-derived EVs, and without supplementations. For each condition, cells were cultured for 6 and 24 h. RNA sequencing results revealed that FF had a stronger effect on BOECs gene expression compared to EVs. We detected 488 and 1998 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) with FF treatment in 6 and 24 h, respectively, whereas only 41 DEGs were detected at 6 h following EV treatment. Pathway analysis of the FF-induced DEGs showed that several pathways were highly enriched, notably oxidative phosphorylation, thermogenesis, arachidonic acid metabolism, and steroid hormone biosynthesis. Some of these pathways have a role in sperm survival, fertilization, and early embryo development. In conclusion, the findings of our study demonstrate for the first time that bovine FF and FF-derived EVs can induce changes in the gene expression of the bovine oviductal cells which, although observed in vitro, may be reflective of in vivo responses which may contribute to a favorable periconceptional microenvironment for sperm survival, fertilization, and early embryo development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Vesicles in Reproduction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Oviduct Fluid Extracellular Vesicles Change the Phospholipid Composition of Bovine Embryos Developed In Vitro
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5326; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155326 - 27 Jul 2020
Abstract
Oviduct fluid extracellular vesicles (oEVs) have been proposed as bringing key molecules to the early developing embryo. In order to evaluate the changes induced by oEVs on embryo phospholipids, fresh bovine blastocysts developed in vitro in the presence or absence of oEVs were [...] Read more.
Oviduct fluid extracellular vesicles (oEVs) have been proposed as bringing key molecules to the early developing embryo. In order to evaluate the changes induced by oEVs on embryo phospholipids, fresh bovine blastocysts developed in vitro in the presence or absence of oEVs were analyzed by intact cell MALDI-TOF (Matrix assisted laser desorption ionization—Time of flight) mass spectrometry (ICM-MS). The development rates, cryotolerance, and total cell number of blastocysts were also evaluated. The exposure to oEVs did not affect blastocyst yield or cryotolerance but modified the phospholipid content of blastocysts with specific changes before and after blastocoel expansion. The annotation of differential peaks due to oEV exposure evidenced a shift of embryo phospholipids toward more abundant phosphatidylcholines (PC), phosphatidylethanolamines (PE), and sphingomyelins (SM) with long-chain fatty acids. The lipidomic profiling of oEVs showed that 100% and 33% of the overabundant masses in blastocysts and expanded blastocysts, respectively, were also present in oEVs. In conclusion, this study provides the first analysis of the embryo lipidome regulated by oEVs. Exposure to oEVs induced significant changes in the phospholipid composition of resulting embryos, probably mediated by the incorporation of oEV-phospholipids into embryo membranes and by the modulation of the embryonic lipid metabolism by oEV molecular cargos. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Vesicles in Reproduction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Oviductal Extracellular Vesicles Improve Post-Thaw Sperm Function in Red Wolves and Cheetahs
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(10), 3733; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21103733 - 25 May 2020
Abstract
Artificial insemination (AI) is a valuable tool for ex situ wildlife conservation, allowing the re-infusion and dissemination of genetic material, even after death of the donor. However, the application of AI to species conservation is still limited, due mainly to the poor survival [...] Read more.
Artificial insemination (AI) is a valuable tool for ex situ wildlife conservation, allowing the re-infusion and dissemination of genetic material, even after death of the donor. However, the application of AI to species conservation is still limited, due mainly to the poor survival of cryopreserved sperm. Recent work demonstrated that oviductal extracellular vesicles (oEVs) improved cat sperm motility and reduced premature acrosomal exocytosis. Here, we build on these findings by describing the protein content of dog and cat oEVs and investigating whether the incubation of cryopreserved red wolf and cheetah sperm with oEVs during thawing improves sperm function. Both red wolf and cheetah sperm thawed with dog and cat oEVs, respectively, had more intact acrosomes than the non-EV controls. Moreover, red wolf sperm thawed in the presence of dog oEVs better maintained sperm motility over time (>15%) though such an improvement was not observed in cheetah sperm. Our work demonstrates that dog and cat oEVs carry proteins important for sperm function and improve post-thaw motility and/or acrosome integrity of red wolf and cheetah sperm in vitro. The findings show how oEVs can be a valuable tool for improving the success of AI with cryopreserved sperm in threatened species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Vesicles in Reproduction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication
The Separation and Characterization of Extracellular Vesicles from Medium Conditioned by Bovine Embryos
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(8), 2942; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21082942 - 22 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been identified as one of the communication mechanisms amongst embryos. They are secreted into the embryo culture medium and, as such, represent a source of novel biomarkers for identifying the quality of cells and embryos. However, only small amounts [...] Read more.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been identified as one of the communication mechanisms amongst embryos. They are secreted into the embryo culture medium and, as such, represent a source of novel biomarkers for identifying the quality of cells and embryos. However, only small amounts of embryo-conditioned medium are available, which represents a challenge for EV enrichment. Our aim is to assess the suitability of different EV separation methods to retrieve EVs with high specificity and sufficient efficiency. Bovine embryo-conditioned medium was subjected to differential ultracentrifugation (DU), OptiPrepTM density gradient (ODG) centrifugation, and size exclusion chromatography. Separated EVs were characterized by complementary characterization methods, including Western blot, electron microscopy, and nanoparticle tracking analysis, to assess the efficiency and specificity. OptiPrepTM density gradient centrifugation outperformed DU and SEC in terms of specificity by substantial removal of contaminating proteins such as ribonucleoprotein complexes (Argonaute-2 (AGO-2)) and lipoproteins (ApoA-I) from bovine embryo-derived EVs (density: 1.02–1.04, 1.20–1.23 g/mL, respectively). In conclusion, ODG centrifugation is the preferred method for identifying EV-enriched components and for improving our understanding of EV function in embryo quality and development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Vesicles in Reproduction)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Emerging Role of Extracellular Vesicles in Embryo–Maternal Communication throughout Implantation Processes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5523; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155523 - 01 Aug 2020
Abstract
In ruminants, the establishment of proper conceptus–endometrial communication is essential for conceptus implantation and subsequent successful placentation. Accumulated evidence supports the idea that extracellular vesicles (EVs) present in uterine lumen are involved in conceptus–endometrial interactions during the preimplantation period. EVs make up a [...] Read more.
In ruminants, the establishment of proper conceptus–endometrial communication is essential for conceptus implantation and subsequent successful placentation. Accumulated evidence supports the idea that extracellular vesicles (EVs) present in uterine lumen are involved in conceptus–endometrial interactions during the preimplantation period. EVs make up a new field of intercellular communicators, which transport a variety of bioactive molecules, including soluble and membrane-bound proteins, lipids, DNA, and RNAs. EVs thus regulate gene expression and elicit biological effects including increased cell proliferation, migration, and adhesion in recipient cells. Uterine EVs are interactive and coordinate with ovarian progesterone (P4), trophectoderm-derived interferon tau (IFNT) and/or prostaglandins (PGs) in the physiological or pathological microenvironment. In this review, we will focus on intrauterine EVs in embryo–maternal interactions during the early stage of pregnancy, especially the implantation period in ruminant ungulates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Vesicles in Reproduction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
The Role of the Epididymis and the Contribution of Epididymosomes to Mammalian Reproduction
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5377; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155377 - 29 Jul 2020
Abstract
It is well-established that testicular spermatozoa are immature and acquire motility and fertilization capabilities during transit throughout the epididymis. The epididymis is a duct-like organ that connects the testis to the vas deferens and is comprised of four anatomical regions: the initial segment, [...] Read more.
It is well-established that testicular spermatozoa are immature and acquire motility and fertilization capabilities during transit throughout the epididymis. The epididymis is a duct-like organ that connects the testis to the vas deferens and is comprised of four anatomical regions: the initial segment, caput, corpus, and cauda. Sperm maturation occurs during epididymal transit by the interaction of sperm cells with the unique luminal environment of each epididymal region. In this review we discuss the epididymis as an essential reproductive organ responsible for sperm concentration, maturation (including sperm motility acquisition and fertilizing ability), protection and storage. Importantly, we also discuss specific characteristics and roles of epididymal-derived exosomes (epididymosomes) in establishing sperm competency within the intricate process of reproduction. This review suggests that an increasing body of evidence is working to develop a complete picture of the role of the epididymis in male reproduction, offspring health, and disease susceptibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Vesicles in Reproduction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Exosomes as Messengers between Mother and Fetus in Pregnancy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(12), 4264; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21124264 - 15 Jun 2020
Abstract
The ability of exosomes to transport different molecular cargoes and their ability to influence various physiological factors is already well known. An exciting area of research explores the functions of exosomes in healthy and pathological pregnancies. Placenta-derived exosomes were identified in the maternal [...] Read more.
The ability of exosomes to transport different molecular cargoes and their ability to influence various physiological factors is already well known. An exciting area of research explores the functions of exosomes in healthy and pathological pregnancies. Placenta-derived exosomes were identified in the maternal circulation during pregnancy and their contribution in the crosstalk between mother and fetus are now starting to become defined. In this review, we will try to summarize actual knowledge about this topic and to answer the question of how important exosomes are for a healthy pregnancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Vesicles in Reproduction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop