The Influence of Exercise-Associated Small Extracellular Vesicles on Trophoblasts In Vitro

Biomedicines. 2023 Mar 11;11(3):857. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines11030857.


Exercise induces the release of small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) into circulation that are postulated to mediate tissue cross-talk during exercise. We previously reported that pregnant individuals released greater levels of sEVs into circulation after exercise compared to matched non-pregnant controls, but their biological functions remain unknown. In this study, sEVs isolated from the plasma of healthy pregnant and non-pregnant participants after a single bout of moderate-intensity exercise were evaluated for their impact on trophoblasts in vitro. Exercise-associated sEVs were found localized within the cytoplasm of BeWo choriocarcinoma cells, used to model trophoblasts in vitro. Exposure to exercise-associated sEVs did not significantly alter BeWo cell proliferation, gene expression of angiogenic growth factors VEGF and PLGF, or the release of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin. The results from this pilot study support that exercise-associated sEVs could interact with trophoblasts in vitro, and warrant further investigation to reveal their potential role in communicating the effects of exercise to the maternal-fetal interface.

Keywords: exercise; physical activity; placenta; pregnancy; small extracellular vesicles; trophoblast.