Extracellular vesicles in endometriosis

Research area

 |  Endometriosis


 |  Exosomes, extracellular vesicles, endometriosis, biomarkers, women's health


 |  PhD/Doctorate, Honours, Masters

Contact supervisors at any time

Dr Thomas Tapmeier
e: thomas.tapmeier@monash.edu

Professor Caroline Gargett

Professor Beverley Vollenhoven

Project description

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are small, nanosized vesicles produced by most cells and readily found in bodily fluids which carry surface markers and genetic material from their cell of origin (Colombo 2014). This makes EVs an attractive candidate diagnostic and therapeutic tool, and they have recently seen increased attention as potential biomarkers for diseases such as obesity and diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and cancer.

Endometriosis is a disease affecting up to 10% of women of reproductive age and characterized by menstrual and non-menstrual pain, often aggravated during and after coitus. Additionally, up to half of women with endometriosis experience a degree of infertility, as well as mental health issues and fatigue (Zondervan 2018). No clinically relevant biomarker is available. We recently isolated EVs from peritoneal fluid with a view to investigating these as potential biomarkers (Nazri 2020). Peritoneal fluid is not easily available as a sample, and uterine fluid or blood would be better sample liquids. However, it remains unclear how EVs within different sample fluids relate, and whether there is an exchange between EVs within the uterus and within the peritoneum.

This project investigates EVs in uterine fluid and peritoneal fluid within the same patients in order to determine the potential for EVs isolated from one or the other fluid as biomarkers.

Methods: EV isolation, ultracentrifugation, nanosight tracking analysis, immunoblotting, RNA extraction, qRT-PCR, proteomics, and a lot of statistics.