Circulating Extracellular Vesicles and Their miR “Barcode” Differentiate Alcohol Drinkers With Liver Injury and Those Without Liver Injury in Severe Trauma Patients

Eguchi, Akiko, Niklas Franz, Yoshinao Kobayashi, Motoh Iwasa, Nils Wagner, Frank Hildebrand, Yoshiyuki Takei, Ingo Marzi, and Borna Relja. "Circulating extracellular vesicles and their miR barcode differentiate alcohol drinkers with liver injury and those without liver injury in severe trauma patients." Frontiers in Medicine 6 (2019): 30.

Short Summary: Extracellular vesicles (EVs), released during tissue/cell injury, contain a “barcode” indicating specific microRNAs (miRs) that can uncover their origin. We examined whether systemic EVs possessing hepatic miR-signatures would indicate ongoing liver injury and clinical complications in trauma patients (TP). We grouped the patients of alcoholic drinkers into “alcohol-drinkers with liver injury (LI)” (EtOH with LI) or “alcohol-drinkers without LI” (EtOH w/o LI) and we compared these groups to “non-drinkers” (no EtOH). When we examined patient blood from the EtOH with LI group we found the total number of EVs to be increased, along with an increase in miR-122 and let7f—two EV-associated miRNAs—and several inflammation-associating cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-33. In contrast, all of the aforementioned readouts were found to be decreased in the EtOH w/o LI group. These novel data demonstrate that hepatocyte damage in alcohol-intoxicated trauma patients presenting with liver injury can be reflected by an increase in circulating serum EVs, their specific miR-“barcode” and the concomitant increase of systemic inflammatory markers IL-6 and IL-33. Anti-inflammatory effect of alcohol-drinking in EtOH w/o LI can be presented by a reduced number of hepato-derived EVs, no upregulation of IL-6 and IL-33, and a miR “barcode” different from patients presenting with liver injury.

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