Extracellular vesicle release and uptake by the liver under normo- and hyperlipidemia

Krisztina Németh, Zoltán Varga, Dorina Lenzinger, Tamás Visnovitz, Anna Koncz, Nikolett Hegedűs, Ágnes Kittel, Domokos Máthé, Krisztián Szigeti, Péter Lőrincz, Clodagh O'Neill, Róisín Dwyer, Zhonglin Liu, Edit I Buzás, Viola Tamási

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Liver plays a central role in elimination of circulating extracellular vesicles (EVs), and it also significantly contributes to EV release. However, the involvement of the different liver cell populations remains unknown. Here, we investigated EV uptake and release both in normolipemia and hyperlipidemia. C57BL/6 mice were kept on high fat diet for 20-30 weeks before circulating EV profiles were determined. In addition, control mice were intravenously injected with 99mTc-HYNIC-Duramycin labeled EVs, and an hour later, biodistribution was analyzed by SPECT/CT. In vitro, isolated liver cell types were tested for EV release and uptake with/without prior fatty acid treatment. We detected an elevated circulating EV number after the high fat diet. To clarify the differential involvement of liver cell types, we carried out in vitro experiments. We found an increased release of EVs by primary hepatocytes at concentrations of fatty acids comparable to what is characteristic for hyperlipidemia. When investigating EV biodistribution with 99mTc-labeled EVs, we detected EV accumulation primarily in the liver upon intravenous injection of mice with medium (326.3 ± 19.8 nm) and small EVs (130.5 ± 5.8 nm). In vitro, we found that medium and small EVs were preferentially taken up by Kupffer cells, and liver sinusoidal endothelial cells, respectively. Finally, we demonstrated that in hyperlipidemia, there was a decreased EV uptake both by Kupffer cells and liver sinusoidal endothelial cells. Our data suggest that hyperlipidema increases the release and reduces the uptake of EVs by liver cells. We also provide evidence for a size-dependent differential EV uptake by the different cell types of the liver. The EV radiolabeling protocol using 99mTc-Duramycin may provide a fast and simple labeling approach for SPECT/CT imaging of EVs biodistribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7589-7604
Number of pages16
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Animals
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Extracellular Vesicles/metabolism
  • Hepatocytes/metabolism
  • Hyperlipidemias/physiopathology
  • Liver/metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Liver sinusoidal endothelial cells
  • Kupffer cell
  • Hepatocyte
  • Extracellular particles
  • Extracellular vesicle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Pharmacology


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