Surgical interventions trigger a cascade of molecular, cellular, and neural signaling responses that ultimately reach remote organs, including the brain. Using a mouse model of orthopedic surgery, we have previously demonstrated hippocampal metabolic, structural, and functional changes associated with cognitive impairment. However, the nature of the underlying signals responsible for such periphery-to-brain communication remains hitherto elusive.
In the first exploratory animal study published in 2021, we tested the hypothesis of extracellular vesicles (EVs) as potential mediators carrying information from the injured tissue to the distal organs and found differential expression of a number of proteins and miRNAs in the “surgery” exosomes suggesting potential periphery-to-target tissues communication upon surgery or other aseptic traumas.
Our current project is a translational follow-up of a previous study where we aim to characterize the EV cargo of the circulating exosomes from human patients subjected to various types of orthopedic surgery. The total RNA isolated from the blood plasma of such patients at five time points before and after the surgery was sent to the core facility of the Mainz University in Germany where the libraries were constructed using the NEXTFLEX® Small RNA-Seq Kit v3 and sequenced on the Illumina NextSeq 500/550 high output flowcell (total number of samples, 62).
We are currently in the process of analyzing the ensuing miRNA-sequencing data (fastq.gz files), which is why we would need extended computing power and software located at the SNIC servers.