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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Apr 2022 - 15 Apr 2022

2022 Apr 12


New therapeutic approach with extracellular vesicles from stem cells for intestinal cystitis/bladder pain syndrome.


Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) is a debilitating chronic disorder characterized by suprapubic pain and urinary symptoms such as urgency, nocturia, and frequency. The prevalence of IC/BPS is increasing as diagnostic criteria become more comprehensive. Conventional pharmacotherapy against IC/BPS has shown suboptimal effects, and consequently, patients with end-stage IC/BPS are subjected to surgery. The novel treatment strategies should have two main functions, anti-inflammatory action and the regeneration of glycosaminoglycan and urothelium layers. Stem cell therapy has been shown to have dual functions. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a promising therapeutic option for IC/BPS, but they come with several shortcomings, such as immune activation and tumorigenicity. MSC-derived extracellular vesicles (MSC-EVs) hold numerous therapeutic cargos and are thus a viable cell-free therapeutic option. In this review, we provide a brief overview of IC/BPS pathophysiology and limitations of the MSC-based therapies. Then we provide a detailed explanation and discussion of therapeutic applications of EVs in IC/BPS as well as the possible mechanisms. We believe our review will give an insight into the strengths and drawbacks of EV-mediated IC/BPS therapy and will provide a basis for further development.