Evaluation of Plant Ceramide Species-Induced Exosome Release from Neuronal Cells and Exosome Loading Using Deuterium Chemistry

Extracellular Vesicles

The extracellular accumulation of aggregated amyloid-β (Aβ) in the brain leads to the early pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The administration of exogenous plant-type ceramides into AD model mice can promote the release of neuronal exosomes, a subtype of extracellular vesicles, that can mediate Aβ clearance. In vitro studies showed that the length of fatty acids in mammalian-type ceramides is crucial for promoting neuronal exosome release. Therefore, investigating the structures of plant ceramides is important for evaluating the potential in releasing exosomes to remove Aβ. In this study, we assessed plant ceramide species with D-erythro-(4E,8Z)-sphingadienine and D-erythro-(8Z)-phytosphingenine as sphingoid bases that differ from mammalian-type species. Some plant ceramides were more effective than mammalian ceramides at stimulating exosome release. In addition, using deuterium chemistry-based lipidomics, most exogenous plant ceramides were confirmed to be derived from exosomes. These results suggest that the ceramide-dependent upregulation of exosome release may promote the release of exogenous ceramides from cells, and plant ceramides with long-chain fatty acids can effectively release neuronal exosomes and prevent AD pathology.

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Recent Publications

Cigarette smoke (CS) represents one of the most relevant environmental risk factors for several chronic pathologies. Tissue damage caused by CS exposure is mediated, at least in part, by oxidative stress induced by its toxic and pro-oxidant components. Evidence demonstrates that extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by various cell types exposed to CS extract (CSE) are characterized by altered biochemical cargo and gained pathological properties. In the present study, we evaluated the content of oxidized proteins and phospholipid fatty acid profiles of EVs released by human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells treated with CSE. This specific molecular characterization has hitherto not been performed. After confirmation that CSE reduces viability of BEAS-2B cells and elevates intracellular ROS levels, in a dose-dependent manner, we demonstrated that 24 h exposure at 1% CSE, a concentration that only slight modifies cell viability but increases ROS levels, was able to increase carbonylated protein levels in cells and released EVs. The release of oxidatively modified proteins via EVs might represent a mechanism used by cells to remove toxic proteins in order to avoid their intracellular overloading. Moreover, 1% CSE induced only few changes in the fatty acid asset in BEAS-2B cell membrane phospholipids, whereas several rearrangements were observed in EVs released by CSE-treated cells. The impact of changes in acyl chain composition of CSE-EVs accounted for the increased saturation levels of phospholipids, a membrane parameter that might influence EV stability, uptake and, at least in part, EV-mediated biological effects. The present in vitro study adds new information concerning the biochemical composition of CSE-related EVs, useful to predict their biological effects on target cells. Furthermore, the information regarding the presence of oxidized proteins and the specific membrane features of CSE-related EVs can be useful to define the utilization of circulating EVs as marker for diagnosing of CS-induced lung damage and/or CS-related diseases.

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