Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are emerging as a major intercellular communication system engaged in a variety of physiological and pathophysiological processes. Tumor-derived exosomes (TEX) are a subset of EVs of special interest as potential cancer biomarkers. Supernatants of tumor cell lines are widely used as the source of pure TEX for molecular/genetic studies. To optimize TEX isolation and characterization for these studies, we evaluated culture conditions for different tumor cell lines and used mini size exclusion chromatography (mini-SEC) for TEX isolation. Each tumor cell line showed unique culture requirements that determined the recovery, purity and total yield of TEX. Culture conditions for optimal TEX purity and recovery by mini-SEC could be modified by altering the media composition and numbers of seeded cells. TEX recovered from mini-SEC fraction #4 under optimized conditions were biologically active, were sized from 30 to 150 nm in diameter, had a typical vesicular morphology and carried endocytic markers. The most critical requirement for reproducible exosome recovery was re-seeding of tumor cells in numbers adjusted to reflect the optimized culture conditions for each tumor cell line. This study provides insights into a cell culture technique, which can be optimized for exosome production by various human or mouse tumor cell lines for isolation by mini-SEC.
Ludwig, Nils, Beatrice M. Razzo, Saigopalakrishna S. Yerneni, and Theresa L. Whiteside. "Optimization of cell culture conditions for exosome isolation using mini-size exclusion chromatography (mini-SEC)." Experimental Cell Research (2019).