Microvesicles as an indicator of early disease?

By Julie Bashore
June 23, 2015

Symptoms are typically the first indicator of cardiovascular disease.  What if we could predict disease before the symptoms ever occur?  Muthuvel Jayachandran, Ph.D.  is working toward this goal with the help of the Mayo Clinic Biobank.   He is using the Biobank to develop a test to see if individuals are at risk for heart and circulatory disease.  The focus of his research is microvesicles (MV).   These tiny fragments of plasma membrane are shed into the bloodstream by cells.   Many have been shown to possess coagulation (clotting) properties.  But before a test for them can be developed, Dr. Jayachandran needs to discover what these vesicles are made of and how many of them are in a healthy individual.   He is using platelet free plasma collected from healthy participants in the Mayo Clinic Biobank, to start the process. Once this is known, he can look at patients that have developed cardiovascular disease to see if the number and makeup of their microvesicles are the same or different. The goal: to see if these tiny blood particles can be used to predict whether a patient will develop disease later in life.