Kidney repair following injury involves the reconstitution of a structurally and functionally intact tubular epithelium. Growth factors and their receptors, such as EGFR, are important in the repair of renal tubules. Exosomes are cell-produced small (~100 nm in diameter) vesicles that contain and transfer proteins, lipids, RNAs, and DNAs between cells. In this study, we examined the relationship between exosome production and EGFR activation and the potential role of exosome in wound healing. EGFR activation occurred shortly after scratch wounding in renal tubular cells. Wound repair after scratching was significantly promoted by EGF and suppressed by EGFR inhibitor gefitinib. Interestingly, scratch wounding induced a significant increase of exosome production. The exosome production was decreased by EGF and increased by gefitinib, suggesting a suppressive role of EGFR signaling in exosome production. Conversely, inhibition of exosome release by GW4869 and manumycin A markedly increased EGFR activation and promoted wound healing. Moreover, exosomes derived from scratch-wounding cells could inhibit wound healing. Collectively, the results indicate that wound healing in renal tubular cells is associated with EGFR activation and exosome production. Although EGFR activation promotes wound healing, released exosomes may antagonize EGFR activation and wound healing.
Keywords: EGFR; exosomes; kidney; wound healing.
Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.