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Journal Club #2: Exosomes From Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Can Expedite ECM Development as Confirmed by Analyzing GAG and Collagen Production levels

A recent publication in the Stem Cell Research & Therapy Journal from Hingert et al. demonstrates how exosomes from human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) can expedite extracellular matrix (ECM) development with glycosaminoglycan (GAG) production as confirmed using Chondrex, Inc.’s GAG and DNA assay kits (1)

Chronic lower back pain is caused by multifactorial pathologies and further affected by psychosocial factors. Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration, a cause of pain, involves loss of proteoglycans and the ECM and increased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases, which affect the viability of the disc cells (DCs) in the IVDs. Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based therapies are of interest in tissue repair and regeneration due to their multilineage differentiation and immunomodulatory abilities. Extracellular vesicles (EVs, exosomes) are secreted by the MSCs as mediators of intercellular communication, and they have shown potential to drive regenerative processes in many diseases. 

The hMSCs were isolated and expanded from bone marrow aspirates and used to prepare EVs expressing CD9, CD63, and CD81. Furthermore, sphere-forming DCs were cultured either without (control group) or with sEVs in chondrogenic media (treatment group). The spheroids were then harvested on days 7, 14, and 28, and solubilized with papain to analyze the GAG and DNA levels. In the EV treatment group, the GAG production normalized by DNA levels were significantly higher than those in the control group on days 7 and 14 (p < 0.01), suggesting EVs from MSCs can promote early production of the ECM in degenerated DCs. Additionally, the EV’s activity against DCs was evaluated by cell proliferation, cell viability, apoptotic activity, cytokine levels and so on. 

For more information, please refer to the following link.
1. D. Hingert, K. Ekström, J. Aldridge, R. Crescitelli, H. Brisby, Extracellular vesicles from human mesenchymal stem cells expedite chondrogenesis in 3D human degenerative disc cell cultures. Stem Cell Res. Ther. 11, 323 (2020).

Chondrex, Inc provides a variety of kits for ECM analysis such as each native collagen type, total collagen, DNA, GAGs, and ECM and solubilization reagents, such as papain and pepsin.  In addition, we also provide antibodies and kits to analyze exosomes expressing CD63 and CD9, as well as cytokine ELISA kits. Please refer to the following webpages for more information.
Glycosaminoglycans Detection Kit 
DNA Assay
Collagen Detection - Type I, Type II, Total Collagen
Chemokine & Cytokine Detection ELISA Kits
Cancer Research