MSC exosome-mediated cardioprotection in ischemic mouse heart comparative proteomics of infarct and peri-infarct areas

Rajshekhar A. Kore, Xianwei Wang, Zufeng Ding, Robert J. Griffin, Alan J. Tackett, Jawahar L. Mehta
Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry2021
Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) exosomes may limit cardiac injury, and even reverse cardiac damage in animal models of ischemia. To understand exosome-mediated improvement in cardiac function we examined the proteomic alternations in the MSC exosome-treated mice hearts subjected to left coronary artery (LCA) ligation, with particular emphasis on peri-infarct areas. At 7 days after LCA ligation, left ventricular end systolic thickness, infarct size and survival of mice were studied. Mass spectrometric analysis of infarct and peri-infarct areas was carried out. Expression of inflammatory markers (LOX-1 and NLRP3) and cell death markers (Bax, Bcl-2, Caspases 1 and 3 and GSDMD) were investigated by Western blots and immunofluorescence. Proteomic analysis of the infarct and peri-infarct areas in saline-treated hearts revealed differentially expressed proteins involved in inflammation and apoptotic cell death, while showing depletion of processes governing cell death. Exosome treatment significantly improved the proteomic profile in both infarct and peri-infarct areas, more so in the peri-infarct areas. The infarct size was smaller (9 ± 1%), and cardiac contractile function (fractional shortening) was preserved in the exosome-treated mice (28 ± 2%). Survival of exosome-treated mice was also better. White blood cell accumulation in and around the infarct area, expression of LOX-1 and NLRP3 inflammasome, and markers of cell death (cleaved Caspase-3, Caspase-1, GSDMD, Bcl-2 and Bax) were dramatically reduced by MSC exosome treatment (all p < 0.01). In cultured primary mouse cardiomyocytes, treatment with MSC exosomes essentially reversed inflammation-induced pro-apoptotic and inflammatory signals (p < 0.01). MSC exosomes exert their cardioprotective effects by suppressing inflammation and pro-apoptotic processes, particularly in the peri-infarct areas, resulting in preservation of cardiac function after LCA ligation.
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