Supported Membrane Platform to Assess Surface Interactions between Extracellular Vesicles and Stromal Cells

ACS Biomater Sci Eng. 2020 Jul 13;6(7):3945-3956. doi: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.0c00133. Epub 2020 Jun 3.


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membrane-encapsulated particles secreted by eukaryotic cells that stimulate cell communication and horizontal cargo exchange. EV interactions with stromal cells can result in molecular changes in the recipient cell and, in some cases, lead to disease progression. However, mechanisms leading to these changes are poorly understood. A few model systems are available for studying the outcomes of surface interactions between EV membranes with stromal cells. Here, we created a hybrid supported bilayer incorporating EVs membrane material, called an extracellular vesicle supported bilayer, EVSB. Using EVSBs, we investigated the surface interactions between breast cancer EVs and adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) by culturing ADSCs on EVSBs and analyzing cell adhesion, spreading, viability, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion, and myofibroblast differentiation. Results show that cell viability, adhesion, spreading, and proangiogenic activity were enhanced, conditions that promote oncogenic activity, but cell differentiation was not. This model system could be used to develop therapeutic strategies to limit EV-ADSC interactions and proangiogenic conditions. Finally, this model system is not limited to the study of cancer but can be used to study surface interactions between EVs from any origin and any target cell to investigate EV mechanisms leading to cellular changes in other diseases.

Keywords: angiogenesis; cancer; exosomes; microvesicles; planar membrane; stromal cells.