Cancer-derived exosomes trigger endothelial to mesenchymal transition followed by the induction of cancer-associated fibroblasts
- Cancer-derived exosomes trigger endothelial to mesenchymal transition followed by the induction of cancer-associated fibroblasts
- 강지윤; 최낙원; 연주헌; 정효은; 서혜민; 조시우; 김기민; 나도균; 정석; 박재성
- Issue Date
- Acta Biomaterialia
- VOL 76-153
- Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) play a pivotal role in tumor growth, but very little has been known about its characteristics and origin. Recently, cancer-derived exosome has been suggested to transdifferentiate CAFs, by a new mechanism of endothelial to mesenchymal transition (EndMT), initiating angiogenic processes and triggering metastatic evolution. However, an enabling tool in vitro is yet to be developed to investigate complicated procedures of the EndMT and the transdifferentiation under reconstituted tumor microenvironment. Here we proposed an in vitro microfluidic model which enables to monitor a synergetic effect of complex tumor microenvironment in situ, including extracellular matrix (ECM), interstitial flow and environmental exosomes. The number of CAFs differentiated from human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) increased with melanoma-derived exosomes, presenting apparent morphological and molecular changes with pronounced motility. Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-derived exosomes were found to suppress EndMT, induce angiogenesis and maintain vascular homeostasis, while cancer-derived exosomes promoted EndMT. Capabilities of the new microfluidic model exist in precise regulation of the complex tumor microenvironment and therefore successful reconstitution of 3D microvasculature niches, enabling in situ investigation of EndMT procedure between various cell types.
Statement of Significance
This study presents an in vitro 3D EndMT model to understand the progress of the CAF generation by recapitulating the 3D tumor microenvironment in a microfluidic device. Both cancer-derived exosomes and interstitial fluid flow synergetically played a pivotal role in the EndMT and consequent formation of CAFs through a collagen-based ECM. Our approach also enabled the demonstration of a homeostatic capability of MSC-derived exosomes, ultimately leading to the recovery of CAFs back to endothelial cells. The i
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