Extracellular Vesicles From Primed Adipose-Derived Stem Cells Enhance Achilles Tendon Repair by Reducing Inflammation and Promoting Intrinsic Healing

Hua Shen, Ryan A. Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Achilles tendon rupture is a common sports-related injury. Even with advanced clinical treatments, many patients suffer from long-term pain and functional deficits. These unsatisfactory outcomes result primarily from an imbalanced injury response with excessive inflammation and inadequate tendon regeneration. Prior studies showed that extracellular vesicles from inflammation-primed adipose-derived stem cells (iEVs) can attenuate early tendon inflammatory response to injury. It remains to be determined if iEVs can both reduce inflammation and promote regeneration in the later phases of tendon healing and the underlying mechanism. Therefore, this study investigated the mechanistic roles of iEVs in regulating tendon injury response using a mouse Achilles tendon injury and repair model in vivo and iEV-macrophage and iEV-tendon cell coculture models in vitro. Results showed that iEVs promoted tendon anti-inflammatory gene expression and reduced mononuclear cell accumulation to the injury site in the remodeling phase of healing. iEVs also increased collagen deposition in the injury center and promoted tendon structural recovery. Accordingly, mice treated with iEVs showed less peritendinous scar formation, much lower incidence of postoperative tendon gap or rupture, and faster functional recovery compared to untreated mice. Further in vitro studies revealed that iEVs both inhibited macrophage M1 polarization and increased tendon cell proliferation and collagen production. The iEV effects were partially mediated by miR-147-3p, which blocked the toll-like receptor 4/NF-κB signaling pathway that activated the M1 phenotype of macrophages. The combined results demonstrate that iEVs are a promising therapeutic agent that can enhance tendon repair by attenuating inflammation and promoting intrinsic healing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-627
Number of pages11
JournalSTEM CELLS
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Keywords

  • adipose-derived stem cells
  • exosomes
  • extracellular vesicles
  • inflammation
  • tendon healing
  • tendon injury and repair

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