esearchers at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University have discovered important biomarkers in extracellular vesicles in dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease and congestive heart failure. This is the first biomarker discovery based on extracellular vesicles in a veterinary disease. The genomic material (microRNA, or miRNA) was isolated from small extracellular vesicles called exosomes, which are released from cells and can circulate in blood. These findings could provide important insight into the molecular basis, diagnosis, and therapies for myxomatous mitral valve disease in dogs, as well as mitral valve prolapse, a similar disease in humans. The results were published online on July 12, 2017 in the Journal of Extracellular Vesicles. The open-access article is titled “Circulating Exosome MicroRNA Associated With Heart Failure Secondary to Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease in a Naturally Occurring Canine Model.” In their analysis of circulating exosome miRNA (Ex-miRNA), researchers found that the expressions not only change with disease progression and development of heart failure in dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease but also exhibit changes solely on the basis of aging in dogs.
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