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Extracellular Vesicles of Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Therapeutic Properties Discovered with Extraordinary Success

Published: 10 June 2021
 by  MDPI AG
Biomedicines , Volume 9; doi:10.3390/biomedicines9060667

Abstract: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), the cells distributed in the stromas of the body, are known for various properties including replication, the potential of various differentiations, the immune-related processes including inflammation. About two decades ago, these cells were shown to play relevant roles in the therapy of numerous diseases, dependent on their immune regulation and their release of cytokines and growth factors, with ensuing activation of favorable enzymes and processes. Such discovery induced great increase of their investigation. Soon thereafter, however, it became clear that therapeutic actions of MSCs are risky, accompanied by serious drawbacks and defects. MSC therapy has been therefore reduced to a few diseases, replaced for the others by their extracellular vesicles, the MSC-EVs. The latter vesicles recapitulate most therapeutic actions of MSCs, with equal or even better efficacies and without the serious drawbacks of the parent cells. In addition, MSC-EVs are characterized by many advantages, among which are their heterogeneities dependent on the stromas of origin, the alleviation of cell aging, the regulation of immune responses and inflammation. Here we illustrate the MSC-EV therapeutic effects, largely mediated by specific miRNAs, covering various diseases and pathological processes occurring in the bones, heart and vessels, kidney, and brain. MSC-EVs operate also on the development of cancers and on COVID-19, where they alleviate the organ lesions induced by the virus. Therapy by MSC-EVs can be improved by combination of their innate potential to engineering processes inducing precise targeting and transfer of drugs. The unique properties of MSC-EVs explain their intense studies, carried out with extraordinary success. Although not yet developed to clinical practice, the perspectives for proximal future are encouraging.
Keywords: clinical developments / clinical trials / engineering / ectosome and exosome / heterogeneity / immune reactions / inflammation / luminal cargo / miRNA / miR- / protection of organs / senescence / regenerative medicine / stromas employed: from bone marrow / adipose tissue / umbilical cord / blood

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