Donor-specific phenotypic variation in hiPSC cardiomyocyte-derived exosomes impacts endothelial cell function.

 Jan 08, 2021

Publication: American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology

Exosomes are an important mechanism of cell-cell interaction in the cardiovascular system, both in maintaining homeostasis and in stress response. Interindividual differences that alter content in exosomes may play a role in cardiovascular disease pathology. To study the effect of interindividual cardiomyocyte (CM) variation, we characterized exosomal content in phenotypically diverse human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived CMs (hiPSC-CMs). Cell lines were generated from six participants in the HyperGEN cohort: three with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and three with normal left ventricular mass (LVM). Sequence analysis of the intracellular and exosomal RNA populations showed distinct expression pattern differences between hiPSC-CM lines derived from individuals with LVH and those with normal LVM. Functional analysis of hiPSC-endothelial cells (hiPSC-ECs) treated with exosomes from both hiPSC-CM groups showed significant variation in response, including differences in tube formation, migration, and proliferation. Overall, treatment of hiPSC-ECs with exosomes resulted in significant expression changes associated with angiogenesis and endothelial cell vasculogenesis. However, the hiPSC-ECs treated with exosomes from the LVH-affected donors exhibited significantly increased proliferation but decreased tube formation and migration, suggesting angiogenic dysregulation. The intracellular RNA and the miRNA content in exosomes are significantly different in hiPSC-CMs derived from LVH-affected individuals compared with those from unaffected individuals. Treatment of endothelial cells with these exosomes functionally affects cellular phenotypes in a donor-specific manner. These findings provide novel insight into underlying mechanisms of hypertrophic cell signaling between different cell types. With a growing interest in stem cells and exosomes for cardiovascular therapeutic use, this also provides information important for regenerative medicine.