Published online Aug 26, 2020. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v12.i8.803
Peer-review started: February 27, 2020
First decision: May 26, 2020
Revised: June 9, 2020
Accepted: July 5, 2020
Article in press: July 5, 2020
Published online: August 26, 2020
Intervertebral disc (IVD) degenerative diseases are a common problem in the world, and they cause substantial social and economic burdens for people. The current methods for treating IVD degenerative diseases mainly include surgery and conservative treatment, which cannot fundamentally restore the normal structure of the disc. With continuous research on the mechanism of degeneration and the development of regenerative medicine, rapid progress has been made in the field of regenerative medicine regarding the use of stem cell-derived exosomes, which are active biological substances used in intercellular communication, because they show a strong effect in promoting tissue regeneration. The study of exosomes in the field of IVD degeneration has just begun, and many surprising achievements have been made. This paper mainly reviews the biological characteristics of exosomes and highlights the current status of exosomes in the field of IVD degeneration, as well as future developments regarding exosomes.
Core tip: This article mainly reviews the brief pathological process of disc degeneration and the biological characteristics and functions of exosomes. We highlight the current status and advancement of exosome research in the field of intervertebral disc degeneration, analyze the possible mechanisms, and discuss the future development of exosomes in this field.