Anti-Metastatic Effects of Plant Sap-Derived Extracellular Vesicles in a 3D Microfluidic Cancer Metastasis Model
Journal of Functional Biomaterials
Natural medicinal plants have attracted considerable research attention for their potential as effective drugs. The roots, leaves and stems of the plant, Dendropanax morbifera, which is endemic to southern regions of Asia, have long been used as a folk medicine to treat variety of diseases. However, the sap of this plant has not been widely studied and its bioactive properties have yet to be clearly elucidated. Here, we isolated extracellular vesicles from D. morbifera sap with the goal of
... th the goal of improving the intracellular delivery efficiency and clinical effectiveness of bioactive compounds in D. morbifera sap. We further investigated the anti-metastatic effects of D. morbifera sap-derived extracellular vesicles (DMS-EVs) using a cancer metastasis model based on 3D microfluidic system that closely mimics the in vivo tumor environment. We found that DMS-EVs exerted a concentration-dependent suppressive effect on cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), which are important mediators of cancer metastasis. DMS-EVs also altered expression level of genes, especially growth factor and extracellular matrix (ECM)-related genes, including integrin and collagen. Our findings suggest that DMS-EVs can act as anti-CAF agents to reduce CAFs in the tumor microenvironment. They further indicate the utility of our 3D microfluidic model for various drug-screening assays as a potential alternative to animal testing for use in validating therapeutic effects on cancer metastasis.