Publication Date



Journal of Control Release


Ischemic stroke causes brain endothelial cell (BEC) death and damages tight junction integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). We harnessed the innate mitochondrial load of BEC-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) and utilized mixtures of EV/exogenous 27 kDa heat shock protein (HSP27) as a one-two punch strategy to increase BEC survival (via EV mitochondria) and preserve their tight junction integrity (via HSP27 effects). We demonstrated that the medium-to-large (m/lEV) but not small EVs (sEV) transferred their mitochondrial load, that subsequently colocalized with the mitochondrial network of the recipient primary human BECs. Recipient BECs treated with m/lEVs showed increased relative ATP levels and mitochondrial function. To determine if the m/lEV-meditated increase in recipient BEC ATP levels was associated with m/lEV mitochondria, we isolated m/lEVs from donor BECs pre-treated with oligomycin A (OGM, mitochondria electron transport complex V inhibitor), referred to as OGM-m/lEVs. BECs treated with naïve m/lEVs showed a significant increase in ATP levels compared to untreated OGD cells, OGM-m/lEVs treated BECs showed a loss of ATP levels suggesting that the m/lEV-mediated increase in ATP levels is likely a function of their innate mitochondrial load. In contrast, sEV-mediated ATP increases were not affected by inhibition of mitochondrial function in the donor BECs. Intravenously administered m/lEVs showed a reduction in brain infarct sizes compared to vehicle-injected mice in a mouse middle cerebral artery occlusion model of ischemic stroke. We formulated binary mixtures of human recombinant HSP27 protein with EVs: EV/HSP27 and ternary mixtures of HSP27 and EVs with a cationic polymer, poly (ethylene glycol)-b-poly (diethyltriamine): (PEG-DET/HSP27)/EV. (PEG-DET/HSP27)/EV and EV/HSP27 mixtures decreased the paracellular permeability of small and large molecular mass fluorescent tracers in oxygen glucose-deprived primary human BECs. This one-two punch approach to increase BEC metabolic function and tight junction integrity may be a promising strategy for BBB protection and prevention of long-term neurological dysfunction post-ischemic stroke.


extracellular vesicles, mitochondria, heat shock protein, paracellular permeability, BBB protection, ischemic stroke

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Neurology Commons



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