Distinct Exosomal miRNA Profiles from BALF and Lung Tissue of COPD and IPF Patients

Gagandeep Kaur, Krishna Prahlad Maremanda, Michael Campos, Hitendra S Chand, Feng Li, Nikhil Hirani, M A Haseeb, Dongmei Li, Irfan Rahman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) are chronic, progressive lung ailments that are characterized by distinct pathologies. Early detection biomarkers and disease mechanisms for these debilitating diseases are lacking. Extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes, are small, lipid-bound vesicles attributed to carry proteins, lipids, and RNA molecules to facilitate cell-to-cell communication under normal and diseased conditions. Exosomal miRNAs have been studied in relation to many diseases. However, there is little to no knowledge regarding the miRNA population of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) or the lung-tissue-derived exosomes in COPD and IPF. Here, we determined and compared the miRNA profiles of BALF- and lung-tissue-derived exosomes of healthy non-smokers, smokers, and patients with COPD or IPF in independent cohorts. Results: Exosome characterization using NanoSight particle tracking and TEM demonstrated that the BALF-derived exosomes were ~89.85 nm in size with a yield of ~2.95 × 1010 particles/mL in concentration. Lung-derived exosomes were larger in size (~146.04 nm) with a higher yield of ~2.38 × 1011 particles/mL. NGS results identified three differentially expressed miRNAs in the BALF, while there was one in the lung-derived exosomes from COPD patients as compared to healthy non-smokers. Of these, miR-122-5p was three- or five-fold downregulated among the lung-tissue-derived exosomes of COPD patients as compared to healthy non-smokers and smokers, respectively. Interestingly, there were a large number (55) of differentially expressed miRNAs in the lung-tissue-derived exosomes of IPF patients compared to non-smoking controls. Conclusions: Overall, we identified lung-specific miRNAs associated with chronic lung diseases that can serve as potential biomarkers or therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11830
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid
  • Exosomes/genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs/biosynthesis
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/genetics
  • Transcriptome


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