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Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been established to play important roles in cell-cell communication and shown promise as therapeutic agents. However, we still lack a basic understanding of how cells respond upon exposure to EVs from different cell sources at various doses. Thus, we treated fibroblasts with EVs from 12 different cell sources at doses between 20 and 200,000 per cell, analyzed their transcriptional effects, and functionally confirmed the findings in various cell types in vitro, and in vivo using single-cell RNA sequencing. Unbiased global analysis revealed EV dose to have a more significant effect than cell source, such that high doses down-regulated exocytosis and up-regulated lysosomal activity. However, EV cell source-specific responses were observed at low doses, and these reflected the activities of the EV's source cells. Last, we assessed EV-derived transcript abundance and found that immune cell-derived EVs were most associated with recipient cells. Together, this study provides important insights into the cellular response to EVs.

Original publication




Journal article


Sci Adv

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Extracellular Vesicles, Exocytosis, Fibroblasts, Cell Communication, Problem Solving