Exosomes populate the cerebrospinal fluid of preterm infants with post-haemorrhagic hydrocephalus

Robert Spaull, Bryony McPherson, Andriana Gialeli, Aled Clayton, James Uney, Axel Heep*, Óscar Cordero-Llana

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
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Preterm infants are at risk of germinal matrix haemorrhage-intraventricular haemorrhage (GMH-IVH) which leads to post-haemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PHH) in 30% of infants; this is associated with moderate-severe neurodevelopmental impairment and confers significant risk of cerebral palsy. There are however no predictive indicators of the severity or long-term outcome after GMH-IVH. In recent years, endosome-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) or exosomes have been isolated from biofluids and shown to mediate intercellular communication via selective enrichment in proteins and micro-RNAs.
This study aimed to isolate and characterise EVs from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 3 preterm infants with PHH using nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with immunogold protein labelling, and micro-RNA analysis.
NTA of unaltered CSF revealed a heterogeneous and dynamic population of EVs. Exosomal-sized EVs were isolated by differential ultracentrifugation and TEM confirmed the presence of CD63+ and CD81+ exosomes. The micro-RNAs miR-9, miR-17, miR-26a, miR-124 and miR-1911 were detected within the exosome-enriched fraction and profiled over time.
This is the first reported characterisation of exosomes from the CSF of preterm infants with post-haemorrhagic hydrocephalus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
Early online date9 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Cerebral palsy
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Exosome
  • Intraventricular hemorrhage
  • Micro RNA
  • Preterm infant


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