In vitro evaluation of platelet extracellular vesicles (PEVs) for corneal endothelial regeneration
Corneal endothelial cells (CECs) slowly decrease in number with increasing age, which is a clinical issue as these cells have very limited regenerative ability. Therapeutic platelet biomaterials are increasingly used in regenerative medicine and cell therapy because of their safety, cost-effective manufacture, and global availability from collected platelet concentrates (PCs). Platelet extracellular vesicles (PEVs) are a complex mixture of potent bioactive vesicles rich in molecules believed to be instrumental in tissue repair and regeneration. In this study we investigated the feasibility of using a PEVs preparation as an innovative regenerative biotherapy for corneal endothelial dysfunction. The PEVs were isolated from clinical-grade human PC supernatants by 20,000 × g ultracentrifugation and resuspension. PEVs exhibited a regular, fairly rounded shape, with an average size of <200 nm and were present at a concentration of approximately 1011 /mL. PEVs expressed cluster of differentiation 41 (CD41) and CD61, characteristic platelets membrane markers, and CD9 and CD63. ELISA and LC-MS/MS proteomic analyses revealed that the PEVs contained mixtures of growth factors and multiple other trophic factors, as well as proteins related to extracellular exosomes with functional activities associated with cell cadherin and adherens pathways. CECs treated with PEVs showed increased viability, an enhanced wound-healing rate, stronger proliferation markers, and an improved adhesion rate. PEVs did not exert cellular toxicity as evidenced by the maintenance of cellular morphology and preservation of corneal endothelial proteins. These findings clearly support further investigations of PEV biomaterials in animal models for translation as a new CEC regeneration biotherapy.