Mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) transplantation is a form of the stem-cell therapy that has shown beneficial effects for many diseases. The use of stem-cell therapy, including MSC transplantation, however, has limitations such as the tumorigenic potential of stem cells and the lack of efficacy of aged autologous cells. An ideal therapeutic approach would keep the beneficial effects of MSC transplantation while circumventing the limitations associated with the use of intact stem cells. This study provides proof-of-concept evidence that MSC-derived extracellular vesicles represent a promising platform to develop an acellular therapeutic approach that would just do that. Extracellular vesicles are membranous vesicles secreted by MSCs and contain bioactive molecules to mediate communication between different cells. Extracellular vesicles can be taken up by recipient cells, and once inside the recipient cells, the bioactive molecules are released to exert the beneficial effects on the recipient cells. This study, for the first time to our knowledge, shows that extracellular vesicles secreted by MSCs recapitulate the beneficial effects of MSCs on vascular repair and promote blood vessel regeneration after ischemic events. Furthermore, MSCs from aged donors can be engineered to produce extracellular vesicles with improved regenerative potential, comparable to MSCs from young donors, thus eliminating the need for allogenic young donors for elderly patients.
- extracellular vesicles
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine