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Newly developed exosome spray promotes myocardial tissue regeneration

In the post-injury heart, a newly developed exosome spray (EXOS) improved cardiac function, reduced fibrosis, and boosted endogenous myocardial tissue regeneration.

Cardiac regenerative medicine has the ability to heal damaged myocardium while also improving revascularization in injured myocardial tissue. Minimally invasive exosome spray not only improved the retention of MSC-derived exosomes on the heart, but it also reduced the amount of stress associated with open-chest surgery. 

Every 36 seconds in the United States, one person dies from cardiovascular disease. Current treatments following a heart attack fail to restore function from the chronically injured myocardial tissue, resulting in a high rate of death within 5 years following MI for all age and gender groups. Cardiac regenerative medicine holds the key to healing damaged myocardium while also improving revascularization in injured myocardial tissue.

Exosomes generated from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been identified as an important component of stem cell paracrine factors for cardiac muscle tissue regeneration. 

According to a new study’s findings, a newly developed exosome spray (EXOS) enhanced cardiac function, decreased fibrosis, and increased endogenous myocardial tissue regeneration of the post-injury heart in a mouse model of acute myocardial infarction. EXOS appeared to demonstrate a potential approach for delivering therapeutic exosomes for heart repair.

The paper states, “Mounting evidence has suggested that MSC-derived exosomes exert beneficial effects on myocardial regeneration and thus possess a huge therapeutic capacity for heart ischemic injury”.

Heart failure, which is the leading cause of mortality, as well as healthcare costs ($219 billion), is still caused by sustained cardiomyocyte death and scarring. For a damaged heart, stem cell therapy has been reported as a regenerative therapeutic method. However, due to an unreliable exosome delivery technique, treatment outcomes were highly unreliable.

By planting MSC-derived exosomes in an FDA-approved fibrin scaffold, a novel minimally invasive exosome spray (EXOS) was created and tested in this study. On those treated NRCMs, a terminal-deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated nick end labeling (TUNEL) experiment was performed and the apoptotic rate was determined to assess the biocompatibility and treatment effects of EXOS. Using a mini-endoscope, a minimally invasive route was used to spray the exosomes on the hearts of both animal models used over the course of the study.

This administration strategy increased exosome retention while lowering surgical stress and inflammatory response, according to the findings. Other biomedical technologies could be used to improve EXOS in the future. Moreover, further investigations regarding the interactions between exosomes and various cardiac cell types, including cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells, macrophages, and fibroblasts may be carried out in the future.

The study’s closing remarks stated, “EXOS not only increased the retention of MSC-derived exosomes on the heart, but also avoided massive surgical stress that is typically involved in an open-chest surgery. In vitro, exosomes from EXOS were readily uptake by cardiomyocytes, which reduced cell apoptosis and improved proliferation in NRCMs”.


The study was published in ACS Nano, on June 21st, 2021.

Jialu Yao, Ke Huang, Dashuai Zhu, Tan Chen, Yufeng Jiang, Junyi Zhang, Lijie Mi, He Xuan, Shiqi Hu, Junlang Li, Yafeng Zhou, Ke Cheng. A Minimally Invasive Exosome Spray Repairs Heart after Myocardial Infarction. ACS Nano, 2021; DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.1c00628

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