Proteomic Profiling of Aqueous Humor Exosomes from Age-related Macular Degeneration Patients

Tsai, Ching-Yao, et al. “Proteomic Profiling of Aqueous Humor Exosomes from Age-related Macular Degeneration Patients.” International Journal of Medical Sciences 19.5 (2022): 893.


Purpose: The alteration of the exosomal proteins in the aqueous humor (AH) is linked to the development of eye diseases. The goal of this study was to examine the exosomal protein profile of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to better understand their role in the pathogenesis of AMD.

Methods: Exosomes were isolated from the AH of 28 AMD and 25 control eyes. The quality, concentration, and size distribution of exosomes were measured using a nanoparticle tracking analysis system (NTA). Total exosomal proteins from each sample were purified and digested with trypsin for liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis.

Results: Based on LC-MS/MS analysis, we got 105 exosomal peptides from AMD and control patients. Gene ontology (GO) analysis in the biology process revealed that exosomal proteins of AMD were enriched in the lipoprotein metabolic process. T-test analysis revealed six exosomal proteins in patients with AMD were significantly different from controls. Comparing the exosomal protein profile of AMD patients who were receiving anti-VEGF therapy, we observed the amount of two proteins decreased with the duration of the anti-VEGF treatment time.

Conclusions: In this study, we successfully isolated and purified AH exosomes. Our results provide pioneering findings for the exosomal protein profile in AMD development and under therapy. These unique proteins could be the new targets for drug discovery or biological markers for evaluating therapeutic efficacy.