Extracellular vesicle-mediated crosstalk between NPCE cells and TM cells result in modulation of Wnt signalling pathway and ECM remodelling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Primary open-angle glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness, often associated with increased intraocular pressure. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) carry a specific composition of proteins, lipids and nucleotides have been considered as essential mediators of cell-cell communication. Their potential impact for crosstalk between tissues responsible for aqueous humour production and out-flow is largely unknown. The study objective was to investigate the effects of EVs derived from non-pigmented ciliary epithelium (NPCE) primary cells on the expression of Wnt proteins in a human primary trabecular meshwork (TM) cells and define the mechanism underlying exosome-mediated regulation that signalling pathway. Consistent with the results in TM cell line, EVs released by both primary NPCE cells and NPCE cell line showed diminished pGSK3β phosphorylation and decreased cytosolic levels of β-catenin in primary TM cells. At the molecular level, we showed that NPCE exosome treatment downregulated the expression of positive GSKβ regulator-AKT protein but increased the levels of GSKβ negative regulator-PP2A protein in TM cells. NPCE exosome protein analysis revealed 584 miRNAs and 182 proteins involved in the regulation of TM cellular processes, including WNT/β-catenin signalling pathway, cell adhesion and extracellular matrix deposition. We found that negative modulator of Wnt signalling miR-29b was abundant in NPCE exosomal samples and treatment of TM cells with NPCE EVs significantly decreased COL3A1 expression. Suggesting that miR-29b can be responsible for decreased levels of WNT/β-catenin pathway. Overall, this study highlights a potential role of EVs derived from NPCE cells in modulating ECM proteins and TM canonical Wnt signalling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4646-4658
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Wnt
  • exosomes
  • extracellular matrix
  • extracellular vesicles
  • non-pigmented ciliary epithelium
  • primary open-angle glaucoma
  • trabecular meshwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Extracellular vesicle-mediated crosstalk between NPCE cells and TM cells result in modulation of Wnt signalling pathway and ECM remodelling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this