Exosomes from endothelial progenitor cells improve outcomes of the lipopolysaccharide-induced acute lung injury.
Crit Care. 2019 Feb 13 ;23(1):44. Epub 2019 Feb 13. PMID: 30760290
BACKGROUND: The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is characterized by disruption of the alveolar-capillary barrier resulting in accumulation of proteinaceous edema and increased inflammatory cells in the alveolar space. We previously found that endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) exosomes prevent endothelial dysfunction and lung injury in sepsis in part due to their encapsulation of miRNA-126. However, the effects of EPC exosomes in acute lung injury (ALI) remain unknown.
METHODS: To determine if EPC exosomes would have beneficial effects in ALI, intratracheal administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was used to induce ALI in mice. Lung permeability, inflammation, and the role of miRNA-126 in the alveolar-epithelial barrier function were examined.
RESULTS: The intratracheal administration of EPC exosomes reduced lung injury following LPS-induced ALI at 24 and 48 h. Compared to placebo, intratracheal administration of EPC exosomes significantly reduced the cell number, protein concentration, and cytokines/chemokines in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), indicating a reduction in permeability and inflammation. Further, EPC exosomes reduced myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, lung injury score, and pulmonary edema, demonstrating protection against lung injury. Murine fibroblast (NIH3T3) exosomes, which do not contain abundant miRNA-126, did not provide these beneficial effects. In human small airway epithelial cells (SAECs), we found that overexpression of miRNA-126-3p can target phosphoinositide-3-kinase regulatory subunit 2 (PIK3R2), while overexpression of miRNA-126-5p inhibits the inflammatory alarmin HMGB1 and permeability factor VEGFα. Interestingly, both miR-126-3p and 5p increase the expression of tight junction proteins suggesting apotential mechanism by which miRNA-126 may mitigate LPS-induced lung injury.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrated that human EPC exosomes are beneficial in LPS-induced ALI mice, in part through the delivery of miRNA-126 into the injured alveolus.