Article Abstract

Exosomal miRNAs in nipple aspirate fluid and breast cancer

Authors: Wenyi Qin, Kurt Zhang, Edward R. Sauter


Background: Exosomal vesicles transport genetic information between cells and thereby influence the cells they interact with. Exosomes have been detected in multiple body fluids, including blood, milk, urine, pleural fluid, cerebrospinal fluid and the aqueous humor of the eye. We performed a proof of principle study to determine: (I) if exosomes are detectable in breast nipple aspirate fluid (NAF); (II) if exosomes are present, do they contain micro (mi)RNAs; (III) if present and if they contain miRNAs, the ability of the miRNAs to predict: (i) breast cancer; and (ii) response to treatment with the anti-inflammatory/anti-cancer agents vitamin (vit) D and celecoxib.
Methods: NAF was collected from 12 healthy women and 20 women with newly diagnosed breast cancer. NAF and matched blood were collected from 5 women before and after daily treatment for one menstrual cycle/one month with low (400 IU) or high dose (2,000 IU) vitD, or high dose vitD plus 400 mg celecoxib. Ten miRs (16, 21, 100, 129, 145, 155, 181, 199, 205, and 212) were measured in NAF and serum samples.
Results: We were routinely able to detect exosomes in NAF and serum samples, and in the exosomes to measure multiple miRNAs. Although there was no significant difference in expression based on the presence or absence of breast cancer, miR16 and -155 expressions were higher (P=0.030 for each) in women with node positive compared to those with node negative breast cancer. ∆Ct expression was at higher (defined at ∆Ct difference ≥1) in serum than matched NAF in healthy women.
Conclusions: Exosomes are detectable in NAF. The exosomes contain intracellular information that may be useful for evaluation of the breast.