Publication: Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine
Scleroderma is a multisystem disease in which tissue fibrosis is caused by inflammation and vascular damage. The mortality of scleroderma has remained high due to a lack of effective treatments. However, exosomes derived from human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (HUMSCs)-Ex have been regarded as potential treatments for various autoimmune diseases, and may also act as candidates for treating scleroderma.
Mice with scleroderma received a single 50 μg HUMSCs-Ex. HUMSCs-Ex was characterized using transmission electron microscopy, nanoparticle tracking analysis and nanoflow cytometry. The therapeutic efficacy was assessed using histopathology, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and western blot.
HUMSCs-Ex ameliorated the deposition of extracellular matrix and suppressed the epithelial-mesenchymal transition process, and the effects lasted at least three weeks. In addition, HUMSCs-Ex promoted M1 macrophage polarization and inhibited M2 macrophage polarization, leading to the restoration of the balance of M1/M2 macrophages.
We investigated the potential antifibrotic and anti-inflammatory effects of HUMSCs-Ex in a bleomycin-induced mouse model of scleroderma. So HUMSCs-Ex could be considered as a candidate therapy for scleroderma.