Published online Aug 26, 2020. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v12.i8.879
Peer-review started: March 4, 2020
First decision: April 25, 2020
Revised: July 2, 2020
Accepted: July 19, 2020
Article in press: July 19, 2020
Published online: August 26, 2020
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been reported to possess immune regulatory effects in innate and adaptive immune reactions. MSCs can mediate intercellular communications by releasing extracellular vesicles (EVs), which deliver functional molecules to targeted cells. MSC derived EVs (MSC-EVs) confer altering effects on many immune cells, including T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, natural killer cells, dendritic cells, and macrophages. A large number of studies have suggested that MSC-EVs participate in regulating autoimmunity related diseases. This characteristic of MSC-EVs makes them be potential biomarkers for the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmunity related diseases.
To verify the potential of MSC-EVs for molecular targeted therapy of autoimmunity related diseases.
Literature search was conducted in PubMed to retrieve the articles published between 2010 and 2020 in the English language. The keywords, such as “MSCs,” “EVs,” “exosome,” “autoimmunity,” “tumor immunity,” and “transplantation immunity,” and Boolean operator “AND” and “NOT” coalesced admirably to be used for searching studies on the specific molecular mechanisms of MSC-EVs in many immune cell types and many autoimmunity related diseases. Studies that did not investigate the molecular mechanisms of MSC-EVs in the occurrence and development of autoimmune diseases were excluded.
A total of 96 articles were chosen for final reference lists. After analyzing those publications, we found that it had been well documented that MSC-EVs have the ability to induce multiple immune cells, like T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, natural killer cells, dendritic cells, and macrophages, to regulate immune responses in innate immunity and adaptive immunity. Many validated EVs-delivered molecules have been identified as key biomarkers, such as proteins, lipids, and nucleotides. Some EVs-encapsulated functional molecules can serve as promising therapeutic targets particularly for autoimmune disease.
MSC-EVs play an equally important part in the differentiation, activation, and proliferation of immune cells, and they may become potential biomarkers for diagnosis and treatment of autoimmunity related diseases.
Core tip: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been reported to possess immunomodulatory effects on autoimmune responses. MSCs can mediate intercellular communications by releasing extracellular vesicles (EVs), which deliver functional molecules to targeted cells. MSC derived EVs (MSC-EVs) exert immunomodulatory effects on many immune cells. A large number of studies have suggested that MSC-EVs and the encapsulated bioactive molecules are potential targets for autoimmune disease, cancer, and other diseases. However, there is still a long way for investigating the molecular mechanism of MSC-EVs in autoimmunity. This review will focus on the immunomodulatory function and underlying mechanism of MSC-EVs in autoimmunity related diseases.