Dose-related shifts in proteome and function of extracellular vesicles secreted by fetal neural stem cells following chronic alcohol exposure.
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Accumulating evidence indicates that extracellular vesicles (EVs) mediate endocrine functions and also pathogenic effects of neurodevelopmental perturbagens like ethanol. We performed mass-spectrometry on EVs secreted by fetal murine cerebral cortical neural stem cells (NSCs), cultured ex-vivo as sex-specific neurosphere cultures, to identify overrepresented proteins and signaling pathways in EVs relative to parental NSCs in controls, and following exposure of parental NSCs to a dose range of ethanol. EV proteomes differ substantially from parental NSCs, and though EVs sequester proteins across sub-cellular compartments, they are enriched for distinct morphogenetic signals including the planar cell polarity pathway. Ethanol exposure favored selective protein sequestration in EVs and depletion in parental NSCs, and also resulted in dose-independent overrepresentation of cell-cycle and DNA replication pathways in EVs as well as dose-dependent overrepresentation of rRNA processing and mTor stress pathways. Transfer of untreated EVs to nave cells resulted in decreased oxidative metabolism and S-phase, while EVs derived from ethanol-treated NSCs exhibited diminished effect. Collectively, these data show that NSCs secrete EVs with a distinct proteome that may have a general growth-inhibitory effect on recipient cells. Moreover, while ethanol results in selective transfer of proteins from NSCs to EVs, the efficacy of these exposure-derived EVs is diminished.