Extracellular Vesicles and Particles Modulate Proton Secretion in a Model of Human Parietal Cells

Extracellular Vesicles

The secretion of extracellular vesicles and particles (EVPs) is an important mechanism of cellular communication. In this work, we demonstrate a functional role of EVPs in mechanisms regulating gastric acid secretion. HGT-1 cells were used as a model system to assess proton secretion. First, in order to prove EVP secretion by HGT-1 cells, EVPs were isolated by size exclusion chromatography and characterized by nanoparticle tracking analysis, Western blot, and cryo transmission electron microscopy. For examination of the potential role of EVPs in proton secretion, HGT-1 cells were treated with pharmacological EV-inhibitors, resulting in a reduction of histamine-induced proton secretion. To demonstrate the functional role of EVPs in the mechanism of proton secretion, EVP-conditioned supernatant was collected after stimulation of HGT-1 cells with histamine, fractionated, and subjected to an activity screening. The results revealed constituents of the HGT-1-derived secretome with an MW of >100 kDa (including EVPs) to modulate proton secretion, while smaller constituents had no effect. Finally, a dose-dependent modulatory effect on proton secretion of HGT-1 cells was demonstrated by isolated HGT-1-derived EVPs. Hence, this study presents first results on the potential function of EVPs as a previously undiscovered mechanism of regulation of gastric acid secretion by parietal cells.

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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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