ADSC-Exos and BMSC-Exos Protect Retinal Ganglion Cells From Hydrostatic Pressure Damage


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have protective effects on the cornea, lacrimal gland, retina, and photoreceptor cell damage, which may be mediated by exosomes (exos) released by MSCs.


To investigate the ameliorating effect of exos derived from different MSCs on retinal ganglion cell (RGC) injury induced by hydrostatic pressure.


The RGC injury model was constructed by RGC damage under different hydrostatic pressures (40, 80, 120 mmHg). Then RGCs were cultured with adipose-derived stem cell (ADSC)-Exos and bone marrow-derived stem cell (BMSC)-Exos. Cell Counting Kit-8, transmission electron microscopy, flow cytometry, immunofluorescence, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and western blotting were performed to detect the ameliorating effect of exos on pressure-induced RGC injury.


ADSC-Exos and BMSC-Exos were successfully isolated and obtained. The gibbosity of RGCs was lower, the cells were irregularly ellipsoidal under pressure, and the addition of ADSC-Exos and BMSC-Exos significantly restored RGC morphology. Furthermore, the proliferative activity of RGCs was increased and the apoptosis of RGCs was inhibited. Moreover, the levels of lactate dehydrogenase and apoptosis-related proteins were increased, and the concentrations of antiapoptotic proteins and neurotrophic factors were decreased in damaged RGCs. However, the above indicators were significantly improved after ADSC-Exos and BMSC-Exos treatment.


These findings indicated that ADSC-Exos and BMSC-Exos could ameliorate RGC injury caused by hydrostatic pressure by inhibiting apoptosis and increasing the secretion of neurotrophic factors.

Journal reference:

Zheng, Z., et al. (2023). ADSC-Exos outperform BMSC-Exos in alleviating hydrostatic pressure-induced injury to retinal ganglion cells by upregulating nerve growth factors. World Journal of Stem Cells.


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