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Extracellular vesicles are transferred from melanocytes to keratinocytes after UVA irradiation

Petra Wäster, Ida Eriksson, Linda Vainikka, Inger Rosdahl & Karin Öllinger

Published online:13 June 2016

Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation induces skin pigmentation, which relies on the intercellular crosstalk of melanin between melanocytes to keratinocytes. However, studying the separate effects of UVA and UVB irradiation reveals differences in cellular response. Herein, we show an immediate shedding of extracellular vesicles (EVs) from the plasma membrane when exposing human melanocytes to UVA, but not UVB. The EV-shedding is preceded by UVA-induced plasma membrane damage, which is rapidly repaired by Ca2+-dependent lysosomal exocytosis. Using co-cultures of melanocytes and keratinocytes, we show that EVs are preferably endocytosed by keratinocytes. Importantly, EV-formation is prevented by the inhibition of exocytosis and increased lysosomal pH but is not affected by actin and microtubule inhibitors. Melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes is equally stimulated by UVA and UVB and depends on a functional cytoskeleton. In conclusion, we show a novel cell response after UVA irradiation, resulting in transfer of lysosome-derived EVs from melanocytes to keratinocytes.

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