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The biological relevance of extracellular vesicles (EV) released in an ischemia/reperfusion setting is still unclear. We hypothesized that the inflammatory microenvironment prevents cardioprotection mediated by endothelial cell (EC)-derived extracellular vesicles. The effects of naïve EC-derived EV (eEV) or eEV released in response to interleukin-3 (IL-3) (eEV-IL-3) were evaluated in cardiomyoblasts (H9c2) and rat hearts. In transwell assay, eEV protected the H9c2 exposed to hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) more efficiently than eEV-IL-3. Conversely, only eEV directly protected H9c2 cells to H/R-induced damage. Consistent with this latter observation, eEV, but not eEV-IL-3, exerted beneficial effects in the whole heart. Protein profiles of eEV and eEV-IL-3, established using label-free mass spectrometry, demonstrated that IL-3 drives changes in eEV-IL-3 protein cargo. Gene ontology analysis revealed that both eEV and eEV-IL-3 were equipped with full cardioprotective machinery, including the Nitric Oxide Signaling in the Cardiovascular System. eEV-IL-3 were also enriched in the endothelial-nitric oxide-synthase (eNOS)-antagonist caveolin-1 and proteins related to the inflammatory response. In vitro and ex vivo experiments demonstrated that a functional Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinase (MEK1/2)/eNOS/guanylyl-cyclase (GC) pathway is required for eEV-mediated cardioprotection. Consistently, eEV were found enriched in MEK1/2 and able to induce the expression of B-cell-lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) and the phosphorylation of eNOS in vitro. We conclude that an inflammatory microenvironment containing IL-3 changes the eEV cargo and impairs eEV cardioprotective action.


Claudia Penna, Saveria Femminò, Marta Tapparo, Tatiana Lopatina, Kari Espolin Fladmark, Francesco Ravera, Stefano Comità, Giuseppe Alloatti, Ilaria Giusti, Vincenza Dolo, Giovanni Camussi, Pasquale Pagliaro, Maria Felice Brizzi. The Inflammatory Cytokine IL-3 Hampers Cardioprotection Mediated by Endothelial Cell-Derived Extracellular Vesicles Possibly via Their Protein Cargo. Cells. 2020 Dec 23;10(1)

PMID: 33374685

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