Cell-engineered nanovesicles could provide an alternative to iPSC exosomes

Stem cells secrete numerous paracrine factors, such as cytokines, growth factors, and extracellular vesicles. As a kind of extracellular vesicle (EV), exosomes produced in the endosomal compartment of eukaryotic cells have recently emerged as a biomedical material for regenerative medicine, because they contain many valuable contents that are derived from the host cells, and can stably deliver those contents to other recipient cells. Although the beneficial effects of human induced potent stem cell-derived exosomes (iPSC-Exo) on the aging of skin fibroblasts have been previously demonstrated, low production yield has remained an obstacle for clinical applications.

Here, researchers from Kangwon National University, Korea generated cell-engineered nanovesicles (CENVs) by serial extrusion of human iPSCs through membrane filters with diminishing pore sizes, and explored whether the iPSC-CENV ameliorates physiological alterations of human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) that occur by natural senescence. The iPSC-CENV exhibited similar characteristics to the iPSC-Exo, while the production yield was drastically increased compared to that of iPSC-derived EVs, including exosomes. The proliferation and migration of both young and senescent HDFs were stimulated by the treatment with iPSC-CENVs. In addition, it was revealed that the iPSC-CNEV restored senescence-related alterations of gene expression. Treatment with iPSC-CENVs significantly reduced the activity of senescence-associated-β-galactosidase (SA-β-Gal) in senescent HDFs, as well as suppressing the elevated expression of p53 and p21, key factors involved in cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and cellular senescence signaling pathways. Taken together, these results suggest that iPSC-CENV could provide an excellent alternative to iPSC-exo, and be exploited as a resource for the treatment of signs of skin aging.

Schematic of the preparation of extracellular vesicles (EVs), and cell-engineered nanovesicles (CENVs) from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)


For iPSC-EVs preparation, spent medium conditioned by human iPSCs was collected, and subsequently ultracentrifuged for 2 h. For iPSC-CENVs preparation, cells were serially extruded through the polycarbonate membrane with diminishing pore size. Then, the generated iPSC-CENVs were collected by density-gradient ultracentrifugation using iodixanol (OptiPrep™).

Lee H, Cha H, Park JH. (2020) Derivation of Cell-Engineered Nanovesicles from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and Their Protective Effect on the Senescence of Dermal Fibroblasts. Int J Mol Sci 21(1). [article]

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