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      Novel Applications of Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived Exosomes for Myocardial Infarction Therapeutics


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          Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of mortality and morbidity globally, representing approximately a third of all deaths every year. The greater part of these cases is represented by myocardial infarction (MI), or heart attack as it is better known, which occurs when declining blood flow to the heart causes injury to cardiac tissue. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells that represent a promising vector for cell therapies that aim to treat MI due to their potent regenerative effects. However, it remains unclear the extent to which MSC-based therapies are able to induce regeneration in the heart and even less clear the degree to which clinical outcomes could be improved. Exosomes, which are small extracellular vesicles (EVs) known to have implications in intracellular communication, derived from MSCs (MSC-Exos), have recently emerged as a novel cell-free vector that is capable of conferring cardio-protection and regeneration in target cardiac cells. In this review, we assess the current state of research of MSC-Exos in the context of MI. In particular, we place emphasis on the mechanisms of action by which MSC-Exos accomplish their therapeutic effects, along with commentary on the current difficulties faced with exosome research and the ongoing clinical applications of stem-cell derived exosomes in different medical contexts.

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          Most cited references180

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          Inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3 by insulin mediated by protein kinase B.

          Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) is implicated in the regulation of several physiological processes, including the control of glycogen and protein synthesis by insulin, modulation of the transcription factors AP-1 and CREB, the specification of cell fate in Drosophila and dorsoventral patterning in Xenopus embryos. GSK3 is inhibited by serine phosphorylation in response to insulin or growth factors and in vitro by either MAP kinase-activated protein (MAPKAP) kinase-1 (also known as p90rsk) or p70 ribosomal S6 kinase (p70S6k). Here we show, however, that agents which prevent the activation of both MAPKAP kinase-1 and p70S6k by insulin in vivo do not block the phosphorylation and inhibition of GSK3. Another insulin-stimulated protein kinase inactivates GSK3 under these conditions, and we demonstrate that it is the product of the proto-oncogene protein kinase B (PKB, also known as Akt/RAC). Like the inhibition of GSK3 (refs 10, 14), the activation of PKB is prevented by inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase.
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            The inflammatory response in myocardial injury, repair, and remodelling.

            Myocardial infarction triggers an intense inflammatory response that is essential for cardiac repair, but which is also implicated in the pathogenesis of postinfarction remodelling and heart failure. Signals in the infarcted myocardium activate toll-like receptor signalling, while complement activation and generation of reactive oxygen species induce cytokine and chemokine upregulation. Leukocytes recruited to the infarcted area, remove dead cells and matrix debris by phagocytosis, while preparing the area for scar formation. Timely repression of the inflammatory response is critical for effective healing, and is followed by activation of myofibroblasts that secrete matrix proteins in the infarcted area. Members of the transforming growth factor β family are critically involved in suppression of inflammation and activation of a profibrotic programme. Translation of these concepts to the clinic requires an understanding of the pathophysiological complexity and heterogeneity of postinfarction remodelling in patients with myocardial infarction. Individuals with an overactive and prolonged postinfarction inflammatory response might exhibit left ventricular dilatation and systolic dysfunction and might benefit from targeted anti-IL-1 or anti-chemokine therapies, whereas patients with an exaggerated fibrogenic reaction can develop heart failure with preserved ejection fraction and might require inhibition of the Smad3 (mothers against decapentaplegic homolog 3) cascade. Biomarker-based approaches are needed to identify patients with distinct pathophysiologic responses and to rationally implement inflammation-modulating strategies.
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              Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) and Its Receptor (VEGFR) Signaling in Angiogenesis: A Crucial Target for Anti- and Pro-Angiogenic Therapies.

              The vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor (VEGFR) have been shown to play major roles not only in physiological but also in most pathological angiogenesis, such as cancer. VEGF belongs to the PDGF supergene family characterized by 8 conserved cysteines and functions as a homodimer structure. VEGF-A regulates angiogenesis and vascular permeability by activating 2 receptors, VEGFR-1 (Flt-1) and VEGFR-2 (KDR/Flk1 in mice). On the other hand, VEGF-C/VEGF-D and their receptor, VEGFR-3 (Flt-4), mainly regulate lymphangiogenesis. The VEGF family includes other interesting variants, one of which is the virally encoded VEGF-E and another is specifically expressed in the venom of the habu snake (Trimeresurus flavoviridis). VEGFRs are distantly related to the PDGFR family; however, they are unique with respect to their structure and signaling system. Unlike members of the PDGFR family that strongly stimulate the PI3K-Akt pathway toward cell proliferation, VEGFR-2, the major signal transducer for angiogenesis, preferentially utilizes the PLCγ-PKC-MAPK pathway for signaling. The VEGF-VEGFR system is an important target for anti-angiogenic therapy in cancer and is also an attractive system for pro-angiogenic therapy in the treatment of neuronal degeneration and ischemic diseases.

                Author and article information

                02 May 2020
                May 2020
                : 10
                : 5
                : 707
                [1 ]National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London W12 0NN, UK; sho.ozaki-tan17@ 123456imperial.ac.uk (S.J.O.T.); juliana.floriano@ 123456unesp.br (J.F.F.); l.nicastro19@ 123456imperial.ac.uk (L.N.)
                [2 ]Botucatu Medical School, Sao Paulo State University, Botucatu 18618687, Brazil
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: c.emanueli@ 123456imperial.ac.uk (C.E.); f.catapano@ 123456imperial.ac.uk (F.C.); Tel.: +44-20-7594-3409 (C.E.)
                Author information
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                : 01 April 2020
                : 27 April 2020

                myocardial infarction,cardiovascular disease,mesenchymal stem cells,exosomes,extracellular vesicles,cardioprotection,cardiac regeneration,cell-free therapy


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