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Isolation and Characterization of the Extracellular Vesicles Secreted by the Human Endometrium

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT02797834
Recruitment Status : Unknown
Verified June 2016 by Felip Vilella, Igenomix.
Recruitment status was:  Recruiting
First Posted : June 14, 2016
Last Update Posted : June 21, 2016
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Felip Vilella, Igenomix

Brief Summary:
The main aim of this study is to describe the morphology, size distributions and specific markers of the different vesicles populations present in the human endometrial fluid. To further characterize the vesicles populations, contents of these membrane compartments (i.e.: DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids and other small metabolites) will be assessed by using mass spectrometry and next generation sequencing techniques. The objective here is to relate a specific vesicles composition to the moment of the cycle, to a normal physiological endometrial function and to the transmission of functionalities from the mother to the embryo.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment
Extracellular Vesicles Procedure: Endometrial fluid collection

Detailed Description:

In the last decades, the emission of membrane enclosed compartments, more commonly regarded as extracellular vesicles, has been established as a new mechanism of communication either between cells of a complex organism, between unicellular organisms or between unicellular organism and host. These vesicles have been described in all body fluids and are currently classified into three types according to the mechanism by which they are formed: exosomes, with sizes ranging from 30 to 150 nm (formed intracellularly); microvesicles, between 100 and 1000 nm (formed from the cell membrane) and apoptotic bodies, with sizes greater than 1 µm (produced by cells undergoing programmed cell death).

Endometrial fluid is a viscous liquid present in the uterine cavity originating from the different cell types that form the uterus and serum exudates. It offers a precise view of the context in which the embryo implants and can be retrieved by a minimally invasive technique.

The main objective of this pilot study is to isolate and characterize the extracellular vesicles secreted by the endometrium to the endometrial fluid, being this the first time that this fact is being described. It is intended to standardize a method for the isolation of the different vesicles populations present within the endometrial fluid (i.e.: apoptotic bodies, microvesicles and exosomes), based on serial differential centrifugations and filtration. Morphological characterization of the isolated vesicles will be done at three levels: study of the external morphology by transmission electron microscopy, characterization of the different vesicles populations surface markers by Western Blot and analysis of the vesicles populations size distributions by Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis.

The second part of the study is directed to assess the content of the extracellular vesicles throughout the menstrual cycle. For this purpose, a canonical menstrual cycle of 28 to 30 days has been classified in 5 phases: phase I (days 0-8), phase II (days 9-14), phase III (days 15-18), phase IV (days 19-24) and phase V (25 to 30). The experimental design for vesicles contents description consists of two levels of comparison: (1) analysis of differential contents of the different populations of vesicles in the same phase of the menstrual cycle and for each of the phases and (2) analysis of differential contents of the same population of vesicles in each phase of the cycle and for each of the vesicular populations. This characterization of the vesicular contents will be made using mass spectrometry techniques to analyze the protein, lipid and other small metabolites composition. Their presence aims to be related both to the moment of the cycle and to a normal physiological function of the endometrium. On the other hand, analysis of DNA and RNA contents of these vesicular populations by massive sequencing will be performed. The objective here is to analyze the transmission of functionalities to target cells as well as the potential predictive usefulness of these molecules to determine the moment of the menstrual cycle.

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Study Type : Observational
Estimated Enrollment : 300 participants
Observational Model: Case-Only
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Isolation and Characterization of the Extracellular Vesicles Secreted by the Human Endometrium to the Endometrial Fluid
Study Start Date : April 2016
Estimated Primary Completion Date : March 2017
Estimated Study Completion Date : March 2019

Group/Cohort Intervention/treatment
Patients Endometrial Fluid

Endometrial fluid samples from healthy and fertile women in their natural cycles, with ages ranging from 18 to 35 years, normal karyotype, negative for HIV, HBV, HCV and RPR, BMI ranging from 18 to 30 Kg/m2 (both included) and regular menstrual cycle (3-4/28-30 days).

This unique assignment group will be divided into 5 subgroups attending to the moment of the menstrual cycle in which the patient could be classified: phase I (days 0-8), phase II (days 9-14), phase III (days 15-18), phase IV (days 19-24) and phase V (days 25-30).

Procedure: Endometrial fluid collection

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Morphological characterization of the extracellular vesicles [ Time Frame: 3 months ]

    Assessment of the morphology of the extracellular vesicles using transmision electron microscopy by either ultrathin cuts and positive staining or deposition and positive staining techniques.

    The aim is to differentiate between vesicle populations thanks to their external aspects and size.

  2. Size distribution profiles characterization of the extracellular vesicles [ Time Frame: 45 days ]

    Analysis of the size distribution of the vesicles contained in the different extracellular vesicles populations by using two Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis techniques: ZetaSizer Nano and NanoSight300.

    The expected outcome is a set of graphs with size range data of the vesicles in the different populations and vesicle concentration data when using NanoSight300.

  3. Characterization of extracellular vesicles populations by specific markers [ Time Frame: 45 days ]

    Analysis of population-specific markers by Western Blot in order to further differentiate endometrial fluid vesicles populations.

    The aim is to differentiate populations based on the presence or absence of these markers.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Qualitative (names) and quantitative (expression levels) information about the different biomolecules that could be present in the samples: DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids and other small metabolites. [ Time Frame: three years ]

Biospecimen Retention:   Samples With DNA

DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids and other metabolits will be analyzed in the different samples of the endometrial fluid.

These samples will be completely exhausted during the analysis.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 35 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population

Analysis in this study will be done using endometrial fluid samples retrieved from healthy, fertile, normal-cycling women which meet the inclusion/exclusion criteria.

These patients will be recruited in a single national centre: IVI Valencia. Their recruitment will be done during the routine clinical practice by the research group in the previously mentioned centre.

The research group will be in charge of checking patients' medical reports and getting in contact with those patients that meet the selection criteria and are willing to participate in the study.


Inclusion Criteria:

  • Healthy women in natural cycles.
  • Age: 18 to 35 years (both included).
  • Normal karyotype.
  • Negative serological results for HIV, HBV, HBC, RPR.
  • BMI: 18-30 Kg/m2 (both included).
  • Regular menstrual cycle (3-4/28-30 days).

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients who had carried a IUD device in the previous 3 months.
  • Patients who had taken hormonal contraceptives in the previous 2 months.
  • Adnexal or uterine pathologies.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Patients suffering from serious or uncontrolled bacterial, fungal or viral infectious diseases that could potentially interfere with the participation of the patient or with the results of the study (evaluated by the principal researcher of the research team).
  • Any unstable disease or medical condition that could interfere with the study or put in risk the health of the patient (evaluated by the principal researcher of the research team).

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT02797834

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Contact: Carlos Gomez, BSc MSc +34963905310
Contact: Diana Valbuena, MD PhD +34963905310

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IVI Valencia Recruiting
Valencia, Spain, 46015
Contact: Carlos Simon, MD PhD    +34963050900   
Sponsors and Collaborators
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Principal Investigator: Felipe Vilella, BSc PhD Igenomix
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Responsible Party: Felip Vilella, Research Director, Igenomix Identifier: NCT02797834    
Other Study ID Numbers: 1603-IGX-017-FV
First Posted: June 14, 2016    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: June 21, 2016
Last Verified: June 2016
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No
Keywords provided by Felip Vilella, Igenomix:
Extracellular vesicles
Endometrial fluid
Menstrual cycle
Apoptotic bodies
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Skin Diseases, Vesiculobullous
Skin Diseases
Pathological Conditions, Anatomical