Proteomic Insight into the Role of Exosomes in Proliferative Vitreoretinopathy Development

J Clin Med. 2022 May 11;11(10):2716. doi: 10.3390/jcm11102716.


Purpose: To characterize vitreous humor (VH) exosomes and to explore their role in the development of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) using mass spectrometry-based proteome profiling. Methods: Exosomes were isolated from undiluted VH from patients with retinal detachment (RD) with various stages of PVR (n = 9), macular hole (MH; n = 5), or epiretinal membrane (ERM; n = 5) using differential ultracentrifugation. The exosomal size, morphology, and exosome markers were analyzed using a nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and an exosome detection antibody array. The tryptic fragment sequencing of exosome-contained proteins was performed using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and a Thermo Lumos Fusion Tribrid Orbitrap mass spectrometer. The pathway analysis of the MS data was performed. Results: The number of exosome particles were significantly increased only in the RD with severe PVR group compared with the control groups and the RD without PVR or with mild PVR groups. Of 724 exosome proteins identified, 382 were differentially expressed (DE) and 176 were uniquely present in PVR. Both DE proteins and exosome proteins that were only present in PVR were enriched in proteins associated with previously known key pathways related to PVR development, including reactive retinal gliosis, pathologic cellular proliferation, inflammation, growth of connective tissues, and epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT). The SPP1, CLU, VCAN, COL2A1, and SEMA7A that are significantly upregulated in PVR were related to the tissue remodeling. Conclusions: Exosomes may play a key role in mediating tissue remodeling along with a complex set of pathways involved in PVR development.

Keywords: PVR; exosome; proteome.