Telocytes in the human ascending aorta: Characterization and exosome‐related KLF‐4/VEGF‐A expression

Extracellular Vesicles

Telocytes (TCs), a novel interstitial cell entity promoting tissue regeneration, have been described in various tissues. Their role in inter-cellular signalling and tissue remodelling has been reported in almost all human tissues. This study hypothesizes that TC also contributes to tissue remodelling and regeneration of the human thoracic aorta (HTA). The understanding of tissue homeostasis and regenerative potential of the HTA is of high clinical interest as it plays a crucial role in pathogenesis from aortic dilatation to lethal dissection. Therefore, we obtained twenty-five aortic specimens of heart donors during transplantation. The presence of TCs was detected in different layers of aortic tissue and characterized by immunofluorescence and transmission electron microscopy. Further, we cultivated and isolated TCs in highly differentiated form identified by positive staining for CD34 and c-kit. Aortic-derived TC was characterized by the expression of PDGFR-α, PDGFR-β, CD29/integrin β-1 and αSMA and the stem cell markers Nanog and KLF-4. Moreover, TC exosomes were isolated and characterized for soluble angiogenic factors by Western blot. CD34+ /c-kit+ TCs shed exosomes containing the soluble factors VEGF-A, KLF-4 and PDGF-A. In summary, TC occurs in the aortic wall. Correspondingly, exosomes, derived from aortic TCs, contain vasculogenesis-relevant proteins. Understanding the regulation of TC-mediated aortic remodelling may be a crucial step towards designing strategies to promote aortic repair and prevent adverse remodelling.

View full article

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.

No items found.
No items found.
No items found.