Microvesicle entry into marrow cells mediates tissue-specific changes in mRNA by direct delivery of mRNA and induction of transcription

Exp Hematol. 2010 Mar;38(3):233-45. doi: 10.1016/j.exphem.2010.01.002. Epub 2010 Jan 15.


Objective: Microvesicles have been shown to mediate intercellular communication. Previously, we have correlated entry of murine lung-derived microvesicles into murine bone marrow cells with expression of pulmonary epithelial cell-specific messenger RNA (mRNA) in these marrow cells. The present studies establish that entry of lung-derived microvesicles into marrow cells is a prerequisite for marrow expression of pulmonary epithelial cell-derived mRNA.

Materials and methods: Murine bone marrow cells cocultured with rat lung, but separated from them using a cell-impermeable membrane (0.4-microm pore size), were analyzed using species-specific primers (for rat or mouse).

Results: These studies revealed that surfactant B and C mRNA produced by murine marrow cells were of both rat and mouse origin. Similar results were obtained using murine lung cocultured with rat bone marrow cells or when bone marrow cells were analyzed for the presence of species-specific albumin mRNA after coculture with rat or murine liver. These studies show that microvesicles both deliver mRNA to marrow cells and mediate marrow cell transcription of tissue-specific mRNA. The latter likely underlies the longer-term stable change in genetic phenotype that has been observed. We have also observed microRNA in lung-derived microvesicles, and studies with RNase-treated microvesicles indicate that microRNA negatively modulates pulmonary epithelial cell-specific mRNA levels in cocultured marrow cells. In addition, we have also observed tissue-specific expression of brain, heart, and liver mRNA in cocultured marrow cells, suggesting that microvesicle-mediated cellular phenotype change is a universal phenomena.

Conclusion: These studies suggest that cellular systems are more phenotypically labile than previously considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / drug effects
  • Bone Marrow Cells / metabolism*
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cell Communication / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / metabolism
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / pharmacology
  • Cytoplasmic Granules
  • Exosomes / metabolism*
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Lung / cytology
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Myocardium / cytology
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Peptides / genetics
  • Protein Precursors / genetics
  • Proteolipids / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Peptides
  • Protein Precursors
  • Proteolipids
  • RNA, Messenger
  • surfactant protein B propeptide
  • Sftpc protein, rat