Aims: Characterization of PSA in extracellular microvesicles (EVs) and its reactivity to commercial methods.
Materials and methods: EVs derived from serum of 47 prostate cancer (PCa) patients, 27 benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) patients and 42 healthy controls were analyzed. EVs isolation and quantification of PSA immunoreactive to total (ev-T-PSA) or free (ev-F-PSA) PSA immunoassays, were performed using commercial assays. PSA in CD81+ or CD63+ EVs was determined directly in serum by an immunocapture-ELISA (IC-ELISA).
Results: Ev-T-PSA immunoreactive to Elecsys assay was detected in all samples. Median T-PSA ev/srm ratio was 2.20 % (Q1-Q3: 0.80-4.00 %), although in some samples this ratio reached 59 %. T-PSA ev/srm ratio was higher in those samples with serum T-PSA below 4 µg/L than in those exceeding that cut-off (p < 0.001). T-PSA ev/srm ratio was lower in PCa patients compared to healthy controls and BPH patients (p < 0.001). Elecsys immunoassays detected higher concentrations of ev-T-PSA and ev-F-PSA than Immulite (p < 0.001). PSA was detected by IC-ELISA more intensely in CD81+ EVs than in CD63+ EVs, and ev-T-PSA correlated with PSA+ CD63+ (p < 0.001) but not with PSA+ CD81+.
Conclusion: EVs-bound PSA is another form of circulating PSA whose measurement could be easily performed in clinical laboratories by automated immunoassays.