Fetal Bovine Serum-Derived Extracellular Vesicles Persist within Vesicle-Depleted Culture Media.
ABSTRACT: It is known that culture media (CM) promotes cellular growth, adhesion, and protects explanted primary brain cells from in vitro stresses. The fetal bovine serum (FBS) supplement used in most CM, however, contains significant quantities of extracellular vesicles (EVs) that confound quantitative and qualitative analyses from the EVs produced by the cultured cells. We quantitatively tested the ability of common FBS EV-depletion protocols to remove exogenous EVs from FBS-supplemented CM and evaluated the influence such methods have on primary astrocyte culture growth and viability. We assessed two methodologies utilized for FBS EV removal prior to adding to CM: (1) an 18-h ultracentrifugation (UC); and (2) a commercial EV-depleted FBS (Exo-FBS™). Our analysis demonstrated that Exo-FBS™ CM provided the largest depletion (75%) of total FBS EVs, while still providing 6.92 × 10? ± 1.39 × 10? EVs/mL. In addition, both UC and Exo-FBS™ CM resulted in poor primary astrocyte cell growth and viability in culture. The two common FBS EV-depletion methods investigated, therefore, not only contaminate in vitro primary cell-derived EV analyses, but also provide a suboptimal environment for primary astrocyte cell growth and viability. It appears likely that future CM optimization, using a serum-free alternative, might be required to advance analyses of cell-specific EVs isolated in vitro.
Project description:Fetal bovine serum (FBS) is the most commonly used supplement in studies involving cell-culture experiments. However, FBS contains large numbers of bovine extracellular vesicles (EVs), which hamper the analyses of secreted EVs from the cell type of preference and, thus, also the downstream analyses. Therefore, a prior elimination of EVs from FBS is crucial. However, the current methods of EV depletion by ultracentrifugation are cumbersome and the commercial alternatives expensive. In this study, our aim was to develop a protocol to completely deplete EVs from FBS, which may have wide applicability in cell-culture applications. We investigated different EV-depleted FBS prepared by our novel ultrafiltration-based protocol, by conventionally used overnight ultracentrifugation, or commercially available depleted FBS, and compared them with regular FBS. All sera were characterized by nanoparticle tracking analysis, electron microscopy, Western blotting and RNA quantification. Next, adipose-tissue mesenchymal stem cells (AT-MSCs) and cancer cells were grown in the media supplemented with the three different EV-depleted FBS and compared with cells grown in regular FBS media to assess the effects on cell proliferation, stress, differentiation and EV production. The novel ultrafiltration-based protocol depleted EVs from FBS clearly more efficiently than ultracentrifugation and commercial methods. Cell proliferation, stress, differentiation and EV production of AT-MSCs and cancer cell lines were similarly maintained in all three EV-depleted FBS media up to 96 h. In summary, our ultrafiltration protocol efficiently depletes EVs, is easy to use and maintains cell growth and metabolism. Since the method is also cost-effective and easy to standardize, it could be used in a wide range of cell-culture applications helping to increase comparability of EV research results between laboratories.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Fetal bovine serum (FBS) is the most widely used serum supplement for mammalian cell culture. It supports cell growth by providing nutrients, growth signals, and protection from stress. Attempts to develop serum-free media that support cell expansion to the same extent as serum-supplemented media have not yet succeeded, suggesting that FBS contains one or more as-yet-undefined growth factors. One potential vehicle for the delivery of growth factors from serum to cultured cells is extracellular vesicles (EVs). METHODS: EV-depleted FBS and human serum were generated by 120,000g centrifugation, and its cell growth-supporting activity was measured. Isolated EVs from FBS were quantified and characterized by nanoparticle tracking analysis, electron microscopy, and protein assay. EV internalization into cells was quantified using fluorescent plate reader analysis and microscopy. RESULTS: Most cell types cultured with EV-depleted FBS showed a reduced growth rate but not an increased sensitivity to the DNA-damaging agent etoposide and the endoplasmic reticulum stress-inducing chemical tunicamycin. Supplying cells with isolated FBS-derived EVs enhanced their growth. FBS-derived EVs were internalized by mouse and human cells wherein 65±26% of them interacted with the lysosomes. EV-depleted human serum also exhibited reduced cell growth-promoting activity. CONCLUSIONS: EVs play a role in the cell growth and survival-promoting effects of FBS and human serum. Thus, it is important to take the effect of EV depletion under consideration when planning EV extraction experiments and while attempting to develop serum-free media that support rapid cell expansion. In addition, these findings suggest roles for circulating EVs in supporting cell growth and survival in vivo.
Project description:In the research field of extracellular vesicles (EVs), the use of fetal bovine serum (FBS) depleted of EVs for in vitro studies is advocated to eliminate the confounding effects of media derived EVs. EV-depleted FBS may either be prepared by ultracentrifugation or purchased commercially. Nevertheless, these preparations do not guarantee an RNA-free FBS for in vitro use. In this study we address the RNA contamination issue, of small non-coding (nc)RNA in vesicular or non-vesicular fractions of FBS, ultracentrifugation EV-depleted FBS, commercial EV-depleted FBS, and in our recently developed filtration based EV-depleted FBS. Commercially available serum- and xeno-free defined media were also screened for small ncRNA contamination. Our small ncRNA sequencing data showed that all EV-depleted media and commercially available defined media contained small ncRNA contaminants. Out of the different FBS preparations studied, our ultrafiltration-based method for EV depletion performed the best in depleting miRNAs. Certain miRNAs such miR-122 and miR-203a proved difficult to remove completely and were found in all media. Compared to miRNAs, other small ncRNA (snRNA, Y RNA, snoRNA, and piRNA) were difficult to eliminate from all the studied media. Additionally, our tested defined media contained miRNAs and other small ncRNAs, albeit at a much lower level than in serum preparations. Our study showed that no media is free of small ncRNA contaminants. Therefore, in order to screen for baseline RNA contamination in culturing media, RNA sequencing data should be carefully controlled by adding a media sample as a control. This should be a mandatory step before performing cell culture experiments in order to eliminate the confounding effects of media.
Project description:Glioblastoma (GBM) may arise from astrocytes through a multistep process involving a progressive accumulation of mutations. We explored whether GBM-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) may facilitate neoplastic transformation and malignant growth of astrocytes. We utilized conditioned media (CM) of cultured glioma cells, its sequential filtration, diverse cell-based assays, RNA sequencing, and metabolic assays to compare the effects of EV-containing and EV-depleted CM. GBM EVs facilitated the neoplastic growth of pre-transformed astrocytes but not normal human or mouse astrocytes. They induced proliferation, self-renewal, and colony formation of pre-transformed astrocytes and enhanced astrocytoma growth in a mouse allograft model. GBM EVs appear to reprogram astrocyte metabolism by inducing a shift in gene expression that may be partly associated with EV-mediated transfer of full-length mRNAs encoding ribosomal proteins, oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolytic factors. Our study suggests an EV/extracellular RNA (exRNA)-mediated mechanism that contributes to astrocyte transformation via metabolic reprograming and implicates horizontal mRNA transfer.
Project description:Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are involved in intercellular communication in health and disease and affect processes including immune and antiviral responses. We have previously demonstrated that ultracentrifuged serum is depleted of EVs and, when used in cell culture media, is associated with declines in growth and viability of numerous cultured cell types. Although EVs had been reported to enhance or interfere with HIV-1 infection, depending on the setting, the effects of EVs on HIV-1 production and infectivity of released virions were unknown. In this study, we examined the effects of EV-depleted serum on HIV-1 replication in primary cells and cell lines, including two HIV-1 latency models. Cell culture media were prepared with EV-replete fetal bovine serum (FBS) or serum depleted of EVs via ultracentrifugation or a proprietary method (ThermoFisher/Gibco). T-cell and myeloid-lineage cell lines, including ACH-2 and U1 HIV-1 latency models, and primary cells were grown in 10% FBS-based culture media. Cell counts, viability, and proliferation were assessed throughout. HIV-1 production and infectivity were measured by p24 ELISA and luciferase reporter cell lines, respectively. Flow cytometry, Seahorse assays, and miRNA and mRNA expression arrays were done to assess cellular responses to EV-depleted conditions. Significant increases in HIV-1 production were observed in EV-depleted conditions, along with, in some cases, morphology changes and decreased cell viability. Add-back of pelleted EVs reduced HIV-1 production almost to baseline. Primary cells appeared to be less susceptible to EV depletion. ACH-2 and U1 latency models also produced more HIV-1 under EV-depleted conditions. Virus produced under EV-depleted conditions was more infectious. Changes in cellular metabolism and gene expression were associated with EV-depleted culture. The EV environment of HIV-1 infected cells appears to have a significant effect on virus production and infectivity. In cell lines of HIV-latency, significantly higher concentrations of p24 were observed in those cells cultured in EVD conditions. EV-dependence of cell cultures should be examined carefully prior to examining additional experimental variables. However, we also sound a cautionary note that direct actions of EVs may be accompanied by the effects of other, closely associated factors. Overall design: HEK293T cells were incubated with FBS (CTR, N=4), extracellular vesicle-depleted serum (exosome-depleted, N=4), or extracellular vesicle-enriched (exosome-enriched, N=4)
Project description:In a recently published study, Anna Krichevsky and colleagues raise the important question of whether results of in vitro extracellular RNA (exRNA) studies, including extracellular vesicle (EV) investigations, are confounded by the presence of RNA in cell culture medium components such as foetal bovine serum (FBS). The answer, according to their data, is a resounding "yes". Even after lengthy ultracentrifugation to remove bovine EVs from FBS, the majority of exRNA in FBS remained. Although technical factors may affect the degree of depletion, residual EVs and exRNA in FBS could influence the conclusions of in vitro studies: certainly, for secreted RNA, and possibly also for cell-associated RNA. In this commentary, we critically examine some of the literature in this field, including a recent study from some of the authors of this piece, in light of the Wei et al. study and explore how cell culture-derived RNAs may affect what we think we know about EV RNAs. These findings hold particular consequence as the field moves towards a deeper understanding of EV-RNA associations and potential functions.
Project description:Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been recently identified as vital components of cell-based therapies based on the observation that conditioned media from cultured stromal cells reproduce some of the beneficial effects of intact cells. In order to obtain clinically active EVs derived from Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSCs) different procedures have been reported in the literature. Usually, non-confluent cells are incubated with culture medium for 48 h either with EV-depleted Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS) or without FBS. Our aim was to compare the effects of EVs isolated by ultracentrifugation from human umbilical cord MSC conditioned media obtained using these two conditions: with EV-depleted FBS (UC) or without FBS (UCw/o) on the mRNA expression levels of extracellular matrix related genes using the mouse chondrogenic cell line ATDC-5. We observed a deleterious effect on chondrogenic cells treated with UCw/o, showing higher mRNA expression levels of different metalloproteinases and decorin (Dcn) and lower collagen (Col1a1 and Col2a1) and aggrecan (Acan) mRNA levels. To elucidate whether this deleterious effect was induced by the EVs or by any proteins co-purified in the EV pellet, we used size exclusion chromatography (SEC) to further purify the EV pellet, obtaining an EV enriched fraction (EV or EVw/o) and a protein enriched fraction (Prot or Protw/o). Our results pointed that the negative effect on the chondrogenic cell line was due to the contaminant proteins coisolated with the EVs by ultracentrifugation and not from the EVs themselves. Thus, these results highlight the importance of working with well purified EV preparations to specifically achieve their therapeutic effect.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Extracellular vesicles (EVs) play important roles in intercellular communication by delivering RNA, lipid, and proteins to neighboring or distant cells. Identification and classification of EVs secreted from diverse cell types are essential for understanding their signaling properties. METHODS:In this study, EVs from the culture media were isolated by ultracentrifugation and analyzed by electron microscopy (EM) and nanoparticle tracking analyses. Conditioned media (CM) from HEK293 cells culture grown either in serum-free (SF) or 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) containing media were centrifuged at 100,000×g to separate the SNΔ supernatant and the P100 pellet in which exosomes are enriched. Then, the SNΔ fraction was centrifuged at 200,000×g to yield the P200 pellet fraction containing novel EVs smaller than exosomes. The exosomal markers in the EV subgroups were examined by western blotting and immune-EM, and the functional analyses of EVs were conducted on HEK293 and THP-1 cell culture. RESULTS:We identified a new group of EVs in the P200 fraction that was smaller than exosomes in size. Typical exosome markers such as Hsp70, TSG101, and CD63 were found in both P100 exosomes and the P200 vesicles, but CD81 was highly enriched in exosomes but not in the P200 vesicles. Furthermore, chemicals that inhibit the major exosome production pathway did not decrease the level of P200 vesicles. Therefore, these small EVs indeed belong to a distinguished group of EVs. Exosomes and the P200 vesicles were found in CM of human cell lines as well as FBS. Addition of the exosomes and the P200 vesicles to human cell cultures enhanced exosome production and cell proliferation, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:Our study identifies a novel population of EVs present in the P200 fraction. This EV population is distinguished from exosomes in size, protein contents, and biogenesis pathway. Furthermore, exosomes promote their own production whereas the P200 vesicles support cell proliferation. In sum, we report a new group of EVs that are distinct physically, biologically and functionally from exosomes.
Project description:Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disabling joint disorder causing articular cartilage degeneration. Currently, the treatments are mainly aimed to pain and symptoms relief, rather than disease amelioration. Human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs) have emerged as a promising paracrine mechanism-based tool for OA treatment. Here, we investigate the therapeutic potential of conditioned media (CM) and extracellular vesicles (EVs) isolated from hBMSC and grown in a xeno-free culture system (XFS) compared to the conventional fetal bovine serum-culture system (FBS) in an in vitro model of OA. First, we observed that XFS promoted growth and viability of hBMSCs compared to FBS-containing medium while preserving their typical phenotype. The biological effects of the CM derived from hBMSC cultivated in XFS- and FBS-based medium were tested on IL-1? treated human chondrocytes, to mimic the OA enviroment. Treatment with CM derived from XFS-cultured hBMSC inhibited IL-1?-induced expression of IL-6, IL-8, and COX-2 by hACs compared to FBS-based condition. Furthermore, we observed that hBMSCs grown in XFS produced a higher amount of EVs compared to FBS-culture. The hBMSC-EVs not only inhibit the adverse effects of IL-1?-induced inflammation, but play a significant in vitro chondroprotective effect. In conclusion, the XFS medium was found to be suitable for isolation and expansion of hBMSCs with increased safety profile and intended for ready-to-use clinical therapies.
Project description:Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are involved in intercellular communication and affect processes including immune and antiviral responses. Blood serum, a common cell culture medium component, is replete with EVs and must be depleted prior to EV-related experiments. The extent to which depletion processes deplete non-EV particles is incompletely understood, but depleted serum is associated with reduced viability and growth in cell culture. Here, we examined whether serum depleted by two methods affected HIV-1 replication. In cell lines, including HIV-1 latency models, increased HIV-1 production was observed, along with changes in cell behavior and viability. Add-back of ultracentrifuge pellets (enriched in EVs but possibly other particles) rescued baseline HIV-1 production. Primary cells were less sensitive to serum depletion processes. Virus produced under processed serum conditions was more infectious. Finally, changes in cellular metabolism, surface markers, and gene expression, but not miRNA profiles, were associated with depleted serum culture. In conclusion, depleted serum conditions have a substantial effect on HIV-1 production and infectivity. Dependence of cell cultures on "whole serum" must be examined carefully along with other experimental variables, keeping in mind that the effects of EVs may be accompanied by or confused with those of closely associated or physically similar particles.