Extracellular Vesicles Are Potential Early Biomarker for GVHD

By Dustin Samples - September 6, 2023

Extracellular vesicles (EV) are nanoscopic bodies released by cells that contain cell-signaling information. They may be useful as a clinical biomarker for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) as they are easy to isolate from non-invasive sources and resemble parent cells.

To test this hypothesis, a team of researchers from the Translational and Clinical Research Institute, Faculty of Medical Science, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, isolated serum EVs from 35 patients who underwent hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) at 28 days post-transplant. They then isolated RNA and performed microRNA expression analysis.

While the researchers did not find any difference in microRNA count or RNA concentration between patients with or without GVHD, they did find some differences in make-up.

“Expression of miR-423-5p and miR-150-5p was significantly different in patients who developed [acute GvHD] vs. no GvHD (miR-150-5p was absent in GvHD, while miR-423-5p was absent in no GvHD),” lead author Rachel Crossland, PhD, explained.

Expression of miR-612 and miR-1285-5p were elevated significantly in the serum of patients with chronic GVHD compared with those with no GVHD, and miR-150-5p was not found in the serum of those with chronic GVHD.

These differences in microRNA expression led the authors to conclude, “Our results suggest that serum EV microRNAs act as potential disease biomarkers, with translatable capacity. Validated biomarkers may further inform the pathobiology of GvHD.”


Crossland R, Norden J, Schell KJ, et al. Circulatory Extracellular Vesicle (EV) Profiles Are Associated With Development of Graft Versus Host Disease (GvHD). Abstract CT-447. Presented at the 11th Annual Meeting of the Society of Hematologic Oncology; September 6-9, 2023; Houston, Texas.

Post Tags:SOHO 2023: GVHD