Physical and functional characterisation of apoptotic cell-derived extracellular vesicles

Lois Hawkins, Khaled Alghareeb, Vinod Nadella, Parbata Chauhan, Charlotte E. Bland, Andrew Devitt

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferencePoster


Damaged, aged or unwanted cells are removed from the body by an active process known as apoptosis. This highly orchestrated programme results in the exposure of 'flags' at the dying cell surface and the release of attractive signals to recruit phagocytes. Together these changes ensure efficient phagocytic removal of dying cells and prevention of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.
Extracellular vesicles (EV) are released from a variety of cells (both viable and apoptotic) and they serve as a novel means of intercellular communication. They range in size: 70-100nm ('exosomes') through 100-1000nm ('microparticles') to large vesicles released from dying cells ('apoptotic bodies'). Release of apoptotic cell-derived extracellular vesicles (acdEV) of less than 1000nm is an important mechanism by which phagocytes are attracted to sites of cell death. Using a variety of approaches we characterize the release, physical characteristics and function of acdEV. Using fluorescence microscopy we demonstrate release of ICAM-3 on acdEV from dying leukocytes and, through the use of resistive pulse technology (qNano, IZON Science), we accurately size and quantitate acdEV release. The function of acdEV is revealed through the use of both horizontal chemotaxis assays (Dunn chambers) and vertical transwell migration assays (Cell-IQ, CM Technologies). These assays reveal potent chemoattractive capacity of acdEV and associated ICAM-3. Additionally we demonstrate an additional novel function of acdEV as anti-inflammatory immune-modulators. These data support an integrated approach to the physical and functional analyses of EV.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventBritish Society for Immunology (BSI) annual congress - UK, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Dec 20144 Dec 2014


CongressBritish Society for Immunology (BSI) annual congress
Abbreviated titleBSI Congress
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


Dive into the research topics of 'Physical and functional characterisation of apoptotic cell-derived extracellular vesicles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this