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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Jul 2023 - 21 Jul 2023

Basic Science

Genetics, In Vitro Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology


2023 Jul 20

Stem Cell Rev Rep


Extracellular vesicles derived from umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells show enhanced anti-inflammatory properties via upregulation of miRNAs after pro-inflammatory priming.


Hyland M, Mennan C, Davies R, Wilson E, Tonge DP, Clayton A, Kehoe O


Autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are characterised by a loss of immune tolerance, whereby the immune cells attack self-antigens causing pain and inflammation. These conditions can be brought into remission using pharmaceutical treatments, but often have adverse side effects and some patients do not respond favourably to them. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells (UCMSCs) present a promising alternative therapeutic due to their innate anti-inflammatory properties which can be strengthened using pro-inflammatory conditions. Their therapeutic mechanism of action has been attributed to paracrine signalling, by which nanosized acellular particles called ‘extracellular vesicles’ (EVs) are one of the essential components. Therefore, this research analysed the anti-inflammatory properties of UCMSC-EVs ‘primed’ with pro-inflammatory cytokines and at baseline with no inflammatory cytokines (control). Both control and primed EVs were co-cultured with un-pooled peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs; n = 6) from healthy donors. Neither control nor primed EVs exerted a pro-inflammatory effect on PBMCs. Instead, the primed EVs showed the immunosuppressive potential by increasing the expression of the anti-inflammatory protein FoxP3 in PBMCs. This may be attributed to the upregulated miRNAs identified in primed EVs in comparison to control EVs (miR-139-5p, miR-140-5p, miR-214-5p). These findings aid in understanding how UCMSC-EVs mediate immunosuppression and support their potential use in treating autoimmune conditions.