(1) Background: Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been recognized as a cellular communication tool with cardioprotective properties; however, it is unknown whether cardioprotection by remote ischemic conditioning (RIC) involves EVs. (2) Methods: We randomized patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to additionally receive a protocol of RIC or a sham-intervention. Blood was taken before and immediately, 24 h, four days and one month after PCI. Additionally, we investigated EVs from healthy volunteers undergoing RIC. EVs were characterized by a high-sensitive flow cytometer (Beckman Coulter Cytoflex S, Krefeld, Germany). (3) Results: We analyzed 32 patients (16 RIC, 16 control) and five healthy volunteers. We investigated platelet-, endothelial-, leukocyte-, monocyte- and granulocyte-derived EVs and their pro-thrombotic sub-populations expressing superficial phosphatidylserine (PS+). We did not observe a significant effect of RIC on the numbers of circulating EVs, although granulocyte-derived EVs were significantly higher in the RIC group. In line, RIC had not impact on EVs in healthy volunteers. Additionally, we observed changes of PS+/PEV, EEVs and PS+/CD15+ EVs irrespective of RIC with time following STEMI. 4) Conclusion: We provide further insights into the course of different circulating EVs during the acute and sub-acute phases of STEMI. With respect to the investigated EV populations, RIC seems to have no effect, with only minor differences found for granulocyte EVs.
Keywords: cardioprotection; extracellular vesicles; flow cytometry; myocardial infarction; remote ischemic conditioning.