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Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell-derived Exosomes Reduce Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury by the Inhibitions of Apoptosis and Autophagy


Xiaofei Jiang, Kar-Sheng Lew, Qiying Chen, Arthur Mark Richards and Peipei Wang*   Pages 1 - 8 ( 8 )


Background: Human mesenchymal stem cell-derived exosomes (hMSC-Exo) have been shown to reduce ischemia/reperfusion injury (I/R) in multiple models. I/R-induced apoptosis or autophagy play important roles in cell death. However, little or no reports demonstrate any roles of hMSC-Exo in this regards. Objective: To test the hypothesis that the inhibition of I/R-induced apoptosis and autophagy play a pivotal role in the cardioprotection of hMSC-Exo.

Methods: Myoblast H9c2 cells and isolated rat hearts underwent hypoxia /re-oxygenate (H/R) or ischemia/ reperfusion (I/R) respectively. H9c2 were treated with 1.0 μg/ml Exo, in comparison with 3-MA or rapamycin (Rapa), a known anti- or pro-autophagic agent respectively. Hearts were treated with 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 μg/ml Exo for 20 min in the beginning of reperfusion. Cell viability, WST assay, LDH release, Annexin-V staining apoptosis assay and GFP-LC3 labeled autophagosomes formation, cardiac function and Western blot were measured.

Results: Exo significantly reduced H/R injury as indicated by increased cell viability and reduced LDH and apoptosis. 3-MA, while Rapa, showed increased or decreased protective effects. Rapa-induced injury was partially blocked by Exo. Exo decreased LC3-II/I ratio and increased p62, inhibited autophagosome formation, an indication of autophagy inhibition. In isolated heart, Exo increased cardiac functional recovery and reduced LDH release in I/R. Bcl-2 was significantly upregulated by Exo but not 3-MA. Exo downregulated Traf6 and upregulated mTORC1/p-4eBP1.

Conclusion: Exo reduce I/R-induced apoptosis and autophagy. Up-regulation of Bcl-2 is the cross-talk between these two processes. The down-regulation of Traf6 and activation of mTORC1 are additional mechanisms in the inhibition of apoptosis and autophagy.


Exosome, ischemia/reperfusion, Bcl-2, Traf6, mTOR, autophagy, apoptosis.


Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, Cardiovascular Research Institute, National University Health System, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, Cardiovascular Research Institute, National University Health System, Cardiovascular Research Institute, National University Health System

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