MicroRNAs of Equine Amniotic Mesenchymal Cell-derived Microvesicles and Their Involvement in Anti-inflammatory Processes

Cell Transplant. 2018 Jan;27(1):45-54. doi: 10.1177/0963689717724796.


Cell-derived microvesicles (MVs) are a recently discovered mechanism of cell-to-cell communication. Our previous data show that MVs secreted by equine amniotic mesenchymal-derived cells (AMCs) are involved in downregulation of proinflammatory genes in lipopolysaccharide-stressed equine tendon and endometrial cells. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether AMC-MVs contain selected microRNAs (miRNAs) involved in inflammation. Two pools of cells, derived from 3 amniotic membranes each, and their respective MVs were collected. Small RNAs were extracted and deep sequenced, followed by miRNA in silico detection. The analysis identified 1,285 miRNAs, which were quantified both in AMCs and MVs. Among these miRNAs, 401 were classified as Equus caballus miRNAs, 257 were predicted by homology with other species (cow, sheep, and goat), and 627 were novel candidate miRNAs. Moreover, 146 miRNAs differentially expressed (DE) in AMCs and MVs were identified, 36 of which were known and the remaining were novel. Among the known DE miRNAs, 17 showed higher expression in MVs. Three of these were validated by real time polymerase chain reaction: eca-miR-26, eca-miR-146a, and eca-miR-223. Gene ontology analysis of validated targets showed that the DE miRNAs in cells and MVs could be involved both in immune system regulation by modulating interleukin signaling and in the inflammatory process. In conclusion, this study suggests a significant role of AMCs in modulating immune response through cell-cell communication via MV-shuttling miRNAs.

Keywords: amniotic-derived cells; equine; miRNA; shedding vesicles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amnion / immunology
  • Amnion / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Communication / drug effects
  • Cell Communication / genetics
  • Cell-Derived Microparticles / drug effects
  • Cell-Derived Microparticles / metabolism
  • Horses
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • MicroRNAs