Study of the influence of hyperglycemia on the abundance of amino acids, fatty acids, and selected lipids in extracellular vesicles using TOF-SIMS

Extracellular Vesicles

Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) with the Bi3+ liquid metal ion gun was used to investigate the content of lipids and amino acids (AAs) in extracellular vesicles (EVs). We induced metabolic changes in human pancreatic β-cells by stimulation with high glucose concentrations (35 mM) and tested the hypothesis of hyperglycemia (HG) has a detrimental effect on lipids and AAs in released EV subpopulations: ectosomes and exosomes. As a result of HG treatment, selected fatty acids (FAs) such as arachidonic, myristic and palmitic acids, changed their abundance in ectosomes and exosomes. Also, intensities of the characteristic peaks for cholesterol (m/z 95.09; 147.07; 161.11; 369.45) along with the molecular ion m/z 386.37 [C27H46O+] under HG conditions, both for ectosomes and exosomes, have changed significantly. Comparative analysis of HG EVs and normoglycemic (NG) ones showed statistically significant differences in the signal intensities of four AAs: valine (m/z 72.08 and 83.05), isoleucine (m/z 86.10), phenylalanine (m/z 120.08 and 132.05) and tyrosine (m/z 107.05 and 136.09). We confirmed that ToF-SIMS is a useful technique to study selected AAs and lipid profiles in various EV subpopulations. Our study is the first demonstration of changes in FAs and AAs in exosomes and ectosomes derived from β-cells under the influence of HG.

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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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