Exosomes secreted by hiPSC-derived cardiac cells improve recovery from myocardial infarction in swine.

 Sept 16, 2020

Publication: Science translational medicine

Cell therapy treatment of myocardial infarction (MI) is mediated, in part, by exosomes secreted from transplanted cells. Thus, we compared the efficacy of treatment with a mixture of cardiomyocytes (CMs; 10 million), endothelial cells (ECs; 5 million), and smooth muscle cells (SMCs; 5 million) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), or with exosomes extracted from the three cell types, in pigs after MI. Female pigs received sham surgery; infarction without treatment (MI group); or infarction and treatment with hiPSC-CMs, hiPSC-ECs, and hiPSC-SMCs (MI + Cell group); with homogenized fragments from the same dose of cells administered to the MI + Cell group (MI + Fra group); or with exosomes (7.5 mg) extracted from a 2:1:1 mixture of hiPSC-CMs:hiPSC-ECs:hiPSC-SMCs (MI + Exo group). Cells and exosomes were injected into the injured myocardium. In vitro, exosomes promoted EC tube formation and microvessel sprouting from mouse aortic rings and protected hiPSC-CMs by reducing apoptosis, maintaining intracellular calcium homeostasis, and increasing adenosine 5'-triphosphate. In vivo, measurements of left ventricular ejection fraction, wall stress, myocardial bioenergetics, cardiac hypertrophy, scar size, cell apoptosis, and angiogenesis in the infarcted region were better in the MI + Cell, MI + Fra, and MI + Exo groups than in the MI group 4 weeks after infarction. The frequencies of arrhythmic events in animals from the MI, MI + Cell, and MI + Exo groups were similar. Thus, exosomes secreted by hiPSC-derived cardiac cells improved myocardial recovery without increasing the frequency of arrhythmogenic complications and may provide an acellular therapeutic option for myocardial injury.