University of Oulu

Roux, Q., Boiy, R., De Vuyst, F., Tkach, M., Pinheiro, C., de Geyter, S., Miinalainen, I., Théry, C., De Wever, O., & Hendrix, A. (2023). Depletion of soluble cytokines unlocks the immunomodulatory bioactivity of extracellular vesicles. Journal of Extracellular Vesicles, 12, e12339.

Depletion of soluble cytokines unlocks the immunomodulatory bioactivity of extracellular vesicles

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Author: Roux, Quentin1,2; Boiy, Robin1,2; De Vuyst, Felix1,2;
Organizations: 1Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research, Department of Human Structure and Repair, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
2Cancer Research Institute Ghent, Ghent, Belgium
3Institute Curie, PSL Research University, INSERM U932, Paris, France
4Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-09-11


Despite an enormous interest in understanding the bioactivity of extracellular vesicles (EV) in physiology and disease for the development of therapeutic applications, the impact of EV preparation methods remains minimally explored. In this study, we implemented density gradient ultracentrifugation combined with size-exclusion chromatography (DG-SEC), differential ultracentrifugation (dUC) and/or stand-alone SEC (sSEC) to fractionate media conditioned by different cancer cells and/or cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF). EV-enriched but protein-depleted versus EV-depleted but protein-enriched DG-SEC fractions, and EV-containing dUC and sSEC preparations were quality controlled for particle number, protein concentration, selected protein composition and ultrastructure, characterized for their cytokine content, and dose-dependently evaluated for monocyte-derived dendritic cell (MoDC) maturation by measuring surface marker expression and/or cytokine secretion. EV preparations obtained by DG-SEC from media conditioned by different cancer cell lines or CAF, were depleted from soluble immune suppressive cytokines such as VEGF-A and MCP-1 and potently stimulated MoDC maturation. In contrast, EV-containing dUC or sSEC preparations were not depleted from these soluble cytokines and were unable to mature MoDC. Subsequent processing of dUC EV preparations by SEC dose-dependently restored the immunomodulatory bioactivity. Overall, our results demonstrate that method-dependent off-target enrichment of soluble cytokines has implications for the study of EV immunomodulatory bioactivity and warrants careful consideration.

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Series: Journal of extracellular vesicles
ISSN: 2001-3078
ISSN-E: 2001-3078
ISSN-L: 2001-3078
Volume: 12
Issue: 8
Article number: e12339
DOI: 10.1002/jev2.12339
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
Funding: This research was funded by European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No [722148] (Q.R., A.H., and C.T.), Ghent University (Q.R. and A.H.), Kom op tegen Kanker (Stand up to Cancer), the Flemish cancer society grant agreement No [13050] (R.B.), Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO).
Copyright information: © 2023 The Authors. Journal of Extracellular Vesicles published by Wiley Periodicals, LLC on behalf of the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.