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      From Mesenchymal Stromal Cells to Engineered Extracellular Vesicles: A New Therapeutic Paradigm


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          Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells obtained from many tissues including bone marrow, adipose tissue, umbilical cord, amniotic fluid, and placenta. MSCs are the leading cell source for stem cell therapy due to their regenerative and immunomodulatory properties, their low risk of tumorigenesis and lack of ethical constraints. However, clinical applications of MSCs remain limited. MSC therapeutic development continues to pose challenges in terms of preparation, purity, consistency, efficiency, reproducibility, processing time and scalability. Additionally, there are issues with their poor engraftment and survival in sites of disease or damage that limit their capacity to directly replace damaged cells. A key recent development in MSC research, however, is the now widely accepted view that MSCs primarily exert therapeutic effects via paracrine factor secretion. One of the major paracrine effectors are extracellular vesicles (EVs). EVs represent a potential cell-free alternative to stem cell therapy but are also rapidly emerging as a novel therapeutic platform in their own right, particularly in the form of engineered EVs (EEVs) tailored to target a broad range of clinical indications. However, the development of EVs and EEVs for therapeutic application still faces a number of hurdles, including the establishment of a consistent, scalable cell source, and the development of robust GMP-compliant upstream and downstream manufacturing processes. In this review we will highlight the clinical challenges of MSC therapeutic development and discuss how EVs and EEVs can overcome the challenges faced in the clinical application of MSCs.

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          Multilineage potential of adult human mesenchymal stem cells.

          Human mesenchymal stem cells are thought to be multipotent cells, which are present in adult marrow, that can replicate as undifferentiated cells and that have the potential to differentiate to lineages of mesenchymal tissues, including bone, cartilage, fat, tendon, muscle, and marrow stroma. Cells that have the characteristics of human mesenchymal stem cells were isolated from marrow aspirates of volunteer donors. These cells displayed a stable phenotype and remained as a monolayer in vitro. These adult stem cells could be induced to differentiate exclusively into the adipocytic, chondrocytic, or osteocytic lineages. Individual stem cells were identified that, when expanded to colonies, retained their multilineage potential.
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            To realize the therapeutic potential of RNA drugs, efficient, tissue-specific and nonimmunogenic delivery technologies must be developed. Here we show that exosomes-endogenous nano-vesicles that transport RNAs and proteins-can deliver short interfering (si)RNA to the brain in mice. To reduce immunogenicity, we used self-derived dendritic cells for exosome production. Targeting was achieved by engineering the dendritic cells to express Lamp2b, an exosomal membrane protein, fused to the neuron-specific RVG peptide. Purified exosomes were loaded with exogenous siRNA by electroporation. Intravenously injected RVG-targeted exosomes delivered GAPDH siRNA specifically to neurons, microglia, oligodendrocytes in the brain, resulting in a specific gene knockdown. Pre-exposure to RVG exosomes did not attenuate knockdown, and non-specific uptake in other tissues was not observed. The therapeutic potential of exosome-mediated siRNA delivery was demonstrated by the strong mRNA (60%) and protein (62%) knockdown of BACE1, a therapeutic target in Alzheimer's disease, in wild-type mice.
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              Embryonic stem cell lines derived from human blastocysts.

              Human blastocyst-derived, pluripotent cell lines are described that have normal karyotypes, express high levels of telomerase activity, and express cell surface markers that characterize primate embryonic stem cells but do not characterize other early lineages. After undifferentiated proliferation in vitro for 4 to 5 months, these cells still maintained the developmental potential to form trophoblast and derivatives of all three embryonic germ layers, including gut epithelium (endoderm); cartilage, bone, smooth muscle, and striated muscle (mesoderm); and neural epithelium, embryonic ganglia, and stratified squamous epithelium (ectoderm). These cell lines should be useful in human developmental biology, drug discovery, and transplantation medicine.

                Author and article information

                Front Cell Dev Biol
                Front Cell Dev Biol
                Front. Cell Dev. Biol.
                Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                20 July 2021
                : 9
                : 705676
                [1] 1Exopharm Ltd. , Melbourne, VIC, Australia
                [2] 2Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology, University of Melbourne , Parkville, VIC, Australia
                Author notes

                Edited by: Mayasari Lim, FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific, Inc., United States

                Reviewed by: Vaijayanti Prakash Kale, Symbiosis International University, India; Pavel Makarevich, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

                *Correspondence: Ramin Khanabdali, ramin.khanabdali@ 123456exopharm.com

                These authors have contributed equally to this work

                This article was submitted to Stem Cell Research, a section of the journal Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology

                Copyright © 2021 Johnson, Shojaee, Mitchell Crow and Khanabdali.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 06 May 2021
                : 29 June 2021
                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 3, Equations: 0, References: 104, Pages: 12, Words: 0
                Cell and Developmental Biology

                mesenchymal stromal cells,mscs,extracellular vesicles,msc-evs,ev therapeutics,engineered evs


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