Stem Cells Transl Med. 2017 Jan;6(1):209-222 

Enhanced Cardioprotection by Human Endometrium Mesenchymal StemCells Driven by Exosomal MicroRNA-21.

Wang K, Jiang Z, Webster KA, Chen J, Hu H, Zhou Y, Zhao J, Wang L, Wang Y, Zhong Z, Ni C, Li Q, Xiang C, Zhang L, Wu R, Zhu W, Yu H, Hu X, Wang J.


Our group recently reported positive therapeutic benefit of human endometrium-derived mesenchymal stem cells(EnMSCs) delivered to infarcted rat myocardium, an effect that correlated with enhanced secretion of protective cytokines and growth factors compared with parallel cultures of human bone marrow MSCs (BMMSCs). To define more precisely the molecular mechanisms of EnMSC therapy, in the present study, we assessed in parallel the paracrine and therapeutic properties of MSCs derived from endometrium, bone marrow, and adipose tissues in a rat model of myocardial infarction (MI). EnMSCs, BMMSCs, and adipose-derived MSCs (AdMSCs) were characterized by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). Paracrine and cytoprotective actions were assessed in vitro by coculture with neonatal cardiomyocytes and human umbilical vein endothelial cells. A rat MI model was used to compare cell therapy by intramyocardial injection of BMMSCs, AdMSCs, and EnMSCs. We found that EnMSCs conferred superior cardioprotection relative to BMMSCs or AdMSCs and supported enhanced microvessel density. Inhibitor studies indicated that the enhanced paracrine actions of EnMSCs were mediated by secreted exosomes. Analyses of exosomal microRNAs (miRs) by miR array and quantitative polymerase chain reaction revealed that miR-21 expression was selectively enhanced in exosomes derived from EnMSCs. Selective antagonism of miR-21 by anti-miR treatment abolished the antiapoptotic and angiogenic effects of EnMSCs with parallel effects on phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), a miR-21 target and downstream Akt. The results of the present study confirm the superior cardioprotection by EnMSCs relative to BMMSCs or AdMSCs and implicates miR-21 as a potential mediator of EnMSC therapy by enhancing cell survival through the PTEN/Akt pathway. The endometrium might be a preferential source of MSCs for cardiovascular cell therapy. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2017;6:209-222.
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