Extracellular vesicles and high-density lipoproteins: Exercise and estrogen-responsive small RNA carriers

Extracellular Vesicles

SUMMARY Decreased systemic estrogen levels (i.e., menopause) affect metabolic health. However, the detailed mechanisms underlying this process remain unclear. Both estrogens and exercise have been shown to improve metabolic health, which may be partly mediated by circulating microRNA (c-miR) signaling. In recent years, extracellular vesicles (EV) have increased interest in the field of tissue crosstalk. However, in many studies on EV-carried miRs, the co-isolation of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles with EVs has not been considered, potentially affecting the results. Here, we demonstrate that EV and HDL particles have distinct small RNA (sRNA) content, including both host and nonhost sRNAs. Exercise caused an acute increase in relative miR abundancy in EVs, whereas in HDL particles, it caused an increase in transfer RNA-derived sRNA. Furthermore, we demonstrate that estrogen deficiency caused by menopause blunts acute exercise-induced systemic miR-response in both EV and HDL particles. HIGHLIGHTS Extracellular vesicles and HDL particles have a distinct sRNA content Extracellular vesicles and HDL particles carry both host and nonhost sRNA cargo Estrogen deficiency blunts the c-miR-response induced by acute exercise Exercise responsive miRs in HT users may regulate the choice of energy substrate

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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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