Published online Jan 26, 2021. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v13.i1.49
Peer-review started: August 17, 2020
First decision: October 21, 2020
Revised: November 2, 2020
Accepted: November 11, 2020
Article in press: November 11, 2020
Published online: January 26, 2021
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are self-renewing, multipotent cells that could differentiate into multiple tissues. MSC-based therapy has become an attractive and promising strategy for treating human diseases through immune regulation and tissue repair. However, accumulating data have indicated that MSC-based therapeutic effects are mainly attributed to the properties of the MSC-sourced secretome, especially small extracellular vesicles (sEVs). sEVs are signaling vehicles in intercellular communication in normal or pathological conditions. sEVs contain natural contents, such as proteins, mRNA, and microRNAs, and transfer these functional contents to adjacent cells or distant cells through the circulatory system. MSC-sEVs have drawn much attention as attractive agents for treating multiple diseases. The properties of MSC-sEVs include stability in circulation, good biocompatibility, and low toxicity and immunogenicity. Moreover, emerging evidence has shown that MSC-sEVs have equal or even better treatment efficacies than MSCs in many kinds of disease. This review summarizes the current research efforts on the use of MSC-sEVs in the treatment of human diseases and the existing challenges in their application from lab to clinical practice that need to be considered.
Core Tip: Mesenchymal stem cell-derived small extracellular vesicles (MSC-sEVs) have drawn much attention as attractive agents for treating multiple diseases. The properties of MSC-sEVs include low immunogenicity and increased stability in circulation. Moreover, emerging evidence has shown that MSC-sEVs have equal or even better treatment efficacies than MSCs in many kinds of disease.