Comparison of exosomes secreted by induced pluripotent stem cell-derived mesenchymal stem cells and synovial membrane-derived mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of osteoarthritis

Zhu, Yu, Yuchen Wang, Bizeng Zhao, Xin Niu, Bin Hu, Qing Li, Juntao Zhang, Jian Ding, Yunfeng Chen, and Yang Wang. Stem Cell Research & Therapy 8, no. 1 (2017): 64.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disease worldwide. In the past decade, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been used widely for the treatment of OA. A potential mechanism of MSC-based therapies has been attributed to the paracrine secretion of trophic factors, in which exosomes may play a major role. In this study, we aimed to compare the effectiveness of exosomes secreted by synovial membrane MSCs (SMMSC-Exos) and exosomes secreted by induced pluripotent stem cell-derived MSCs (iMSC-Exos) on the treatment of OA.


Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived MSCs and synovial membrane MSCs were characterized by flow cytometry. iMSC-Exos and SMMSC-Exos were isolated using an ultrafiltration method. Tunable resistive pulse-sensing analysis, transmission electron microscopy, and western blots were used to identify exosomes. iMSC-Exos and SMMSC-Exos were injected intra-articularly in a mouse model of collagenase-induced OA and the efficacy of exosome injections was assessed by macroscopic, histological, and immunohistochemistry analysis. We also evaluated the effects of iMSC-Exos and SMMSC-Exos on proliferation and migration of human chondrocytes by cell-counting and scratch assays, respectively.


The majority of iMSC-Exos and SMMSC-Exos were approximately 50–150 nm in diameter and expressed CD9, CD63, and TSG101. The injection of iMSC-Exos and SMMSC-Exos both attenuated OA in the mouse OA model, but iMSC-Exos had a superior therapeutic effect compared with SMMSC-Exos. Similarly, chondrocyte migration and proliferation were stimulated by both iMSC-Exos and SMMSC-Exos, with iMSC-Exos exerting a stronger effect.


The present study demonstrated that iMSC-Exos have a greater therapeutic effect on OA than SMMSC-Exos. Because autologous iMSCs are theoretically inexhaustible, iMSC-Exos may represent a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of OA.


Exosomes Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived mesenchymal stem cell Synovial membrane-derived mesenchymal stem cell Osteoarthritis

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