Study Highlights MSC-EVs Potential for Alleviating Lung Fibrosis

Background

Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a chronic interstitial lung disease characterized by fibroblast proliferation and extracellular matrix formation, causing structural damage and lung failure. Stem cell therapy and mesenchymal stem cells-extracellular vesicles (MSC-EVs) offer new hope for PF treatment.

Aim

To investigate the therapeutic potential of MSC-EVs in alleviating fibrosis, oxidative stress, and immune inflammation in A549 cells and bleomycin (BLM)-induced mouse model.

Methods

The effect of MSC-EVs on A549 cells was assessed by fibrosis markers [collagen I and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), oxidative stress regulators [nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), and inflammatory regulators [nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) p65, interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-2]. Similarly, they were assessed in the lungs of mice where PF was induced by BLM after MSC-EV transfection. MSC-EVs ion PF mice were detected by pathological staining and western blot. Single-cell RNA sequencing was performed to investigate the effects of the MSC-EVs on gene expression profiles of macrophages after modeling in mice.

Results

Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 enhanced fibrosis in A549 cells, significantly increasing collagen I and α-SMA levels. Notably, treatment with MSC-EVs demonstrated a remarkable alleviation of these effects. Similarly, the expression of oxidative stress regulators, such as Nrf2 and HO-1, along with inflammatory regulators, including NF-κB p65 and IL-1β, were mitigated by MSC-EV treatment. Furthermore, in a parallel manner, MSC-EVs exhibited a downregulatory impact on collagen deposition, oxidative stress injuries, and inflammatory-related cytokines in the lungs of mice with PF. Additionally, the mRNA sequencing results suggested that BLM may induce PF in mice by upregulating pulmonary collagen fiber deposition and triggering an immune inflammatory response. The findings collectively highlight the potential therapeutic efficacy of MSC-EVs in ameliorating fibrotic processes, oxidative stress, and inflammatory responses associated with PF.

Conclusion

MSC-EVs could ameliorate fibrosis in vitro and in vivo by downregulating collagen deposition, oxidative stress, and immune-inflammatory responses.

Source:
Journal reference:

Gao, Y., et al. (2024). Mesenchymal stem cells-extracellular vesicles alleviate pulmonary fibrosis by regulating immunomodulators. World Journal of Stem Cells. doi.org/10.4252/wjsc.v16.i6.670.

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