Ever seen an exosome therapy advertisement? Or if you are a physician, you may have been contacted by a sales representative marketing exosomes. What is the difference between exosome and stem cells? Do they perform the same function? Are exosomes better than stem cells? Let’s study this in details.
WHAT ARE EXOSOMES?
Body cells communicate among themselves with cytokines. Cytokines are proteins that are excreted by a particular cell for the purpose of instructing another cell on what or what not to do. This is part of the mechanism of action of stem cells, by triggering a repair response through other cells. This is similar to what a choir conductor does – ensuring that all musical instruments work in harmony to produce a beautiful masterpiece rather than noise.
Exosomes are located off the outer wall of the cells. They are loaded with proteins, RNA, and other stuffs. However, the most important constituent of exosomes is mRNA.
MRNA? WHAT IS IT?
mRNA is responsible for protein synthesis. We can see it as the instruction set for some proteins and the factory responsible for its production. These proteins include everything ranging from the very basic building blocks to chemical signals.
EXOSOMES AND CELL CULTURE
When stem cells are grown or cultured, exosomes can be seen in the growth media. It has been proposed that harvesting these exosomes and injecting them into patients is effective as treatment because they contain the mRNA and cytokines capable of inducing repair. However, this, in reality, is more complex than this story says.
EXOSOMES ARE SIMILAR TO MISSILES
An exosome can be likened to a missile fired toward a target cell by a stem cell. The exosome contains a payload which may be a protein that instructs the cell on what or what not to do, or an mRNA, which can force the production of proteins by the other cells. Of course these proteins are always required by the stem cells.
COMPARING DUMB MISSILES AND SMART BOMBS
One important thing about stem cells is that they have the ability to detect their environment and act accordingly. Tissue repair is a complex process that involves infusion of the right chemical stimulus into cells. These chemical signals must be infused just at the right time. The exosome harvested from stem cell media are those required to grow cells in culture. Considering the fact that a stem cell culture does not facilitate tissue repair, the exosome payload has little or nothing to do with injury repair. Hence, these exosomes may be compared to missiles with the wrong, or sub-optimal payload. They are more or less “dumb missiles” if harvested and used as a therapy.
If stem cells are in their natural environment and they sense the need for tissue repair, they release exosomes that contain payloads for the mRNA and proteins involved in the repair of tissues. These fire “smart bombs” at target cells in the specific regions that are involved in the repair and release of exosomes with varying payloads at different times. These signals are required by the environment to facilitate repair of the damage.
Exosomes are cool, even though most facilities are yet to fully utilize it as a form of therapy. There’s a simple reason – because it’s more or less a dumb therapy. This implies that stem cells are smarter and can detect the factors required for tissue repair. Thus, stem cells use exosomes like missiles, and shoot them at local cells in the right sequence and at the right time. Stem cells understand perfectly the exact payloads to load on the missiles, the right time to load, and the reason why it must be loaded. This is something we’re yet to understand.
AT DR. PADRA NOURPARVAR’S OFFICE, YOUR HEALTH IS OUR PRIORITY…
And so we’ve got some really cool exosome products to boost your health…
XoGlo™ and Amniotic fluid exosomes.
From the stables of Kimera Labs, XoGlo™ is an isolated, xeno-free, chemically defined, cell-free placental MSC derived exosome re-suspended in 0.9% normal saline. XoGlo™ is a topical product in which every lot is tested for sterility and endotoxin. It is available in 1.0ml, 2.0ml, and 5.0ml dosages.
Amino2 is derived from full C-section. It yields 2 times the growth factors ferried in billions of exosomes.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the source of stem cell derived exosomes?
Exosomes used at Dr. Padra Nourparvar’s Office are derived from an audited and FDA-licensed tissue facility that develops placental-based and amniotic fluid treatments for regenerative therapies. We adopt and comply with cGMP production procedures for exosome production. The FDA regulates exosome production as a 351 tissue product.
How do we administer exosomes?
Administration of exosome is done intravenously for anti-aging therapy and systemic illnesses. If used for joint regenerative therapy, exosomes are administered as intraarticular injections.
How long does it take to enjoy the benefits of exosome injection?
We understand that the body of each individual is unique. However, two factors that determine the success of exosome therapy are the severity of the condition and how well the body responds to the therapy. Under normal conditions, you’ll begin to see benefits in 3-4 months. In some cases, the individual may also see benefits 9-12 months after treatment.
Any side effects?
Exosome injection is an outpatient procedure. Most patients leave the facility without any pain or discomfort. Less than five percent of patients develop nausea, headache, or a minor fever. However, these side effects usually resolve within 24 hours.
What effects do exosomes have on the inflammatory processes?
Exosomes stimulate an increase in anti-inflammatory cytokine levels. Also, they inhibit activation of macrophages. Macrophage is a type of white blood cell that act as an important component of the immune system. It detects the presence of microscopic foreign bodies and then phagocytizes them.
Do exosomes have any effect on musculoskeletal disorders?
Studies have shown that exosomes stimulate the growth of bones as well as regeneration of skeletal muscles. It does this by targeting the stem cells into bone cell precursors and muscle precursors.
Stem cell-derived exosomes: an emerging tool for myocardial regeneration
Cardiovascular diseases are a major cause of death in developed nations of the world. Acute myocardial infarction is the most severe form of cardiovascular disease. It has a very high mortality and disability rate. In a substantial proportion of patients who survive AMI, loss of functional cardiomyocytes as a result of ischaemic injury leads to ventricular failure, resulting in significant alteration to quality of life and increased mortality. Therefore, many attempts have been made in recent years to identify new tools for the regeneration of functional cardiomyocytes. Regenerative therapy currently represents the ultimate goal for restoring the function of damaged myocardium by stimulating the regeneration of the infarcted tissue or by providing cells that can generate new myocardial tissue to replace the damaged tissue. Stem cells (SCs) have been proposed as a viable therapy option in these cases. However, despite the great enthusiasm at the beginning of the SC era, justified by promising initial results, this therapy has failed to demonstrate a significant benefit in large clinical trials. One interesting finding of SC studies is that exosomes released by mesenchymal SCs (MSCs) are able to enhance the viability of cardiomyocytes after ischaemia/reperfusion injury, suggesting that the beneficial effects of MSCs in the recovery of functional myocardium could be related to their capacity to secrete exosomes. Ten years ago, it was discovered that exosomes have the unique property of transferring miRNA between cells, acting as miRNA nanocarriers. Therefore, exosome-based therapy has recently been proposed as an emerging tool for cardiac regeneration as an alternative to SC therapy in the post-infarction period. This review aims to discuss the emerging role of exosomes in developing innovative therapies for cardiac regeneration as well as their potential role as candidate biomarkers or for developing new diagnostic tools. Link to the study >>>>> HERE
Exosomes and stem cells in degenerative disease diagnosis & therapy
Stroke can cause death and disability, resulting in a huge burden on society. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor dysfunction. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive degenerative joint disease characterized by cartilage destruction and osteophyte formation in the joints. Stem cell therapy may provide a biological treatment alternative to traditional pharmacological therapy. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are preferred because of their differentiation ability and possible derivation from many adult tissues. In addition, the paracrine effects of MSCs play crucial anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive roles in immune cells. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are vital mediators of cell-to-cell communication. Exosomes contain various molecules such as microRNA (miRNA), which mediates biological functions through gene regulation. Therefore, exosomes carrying miRNA or other molecules can enhance the therapeutic effects of MSC transplantation. MSC-derived exosomes have been investigated in various animal models representing stroke, PD, and OA. Exosomes are a subtype of EVs. This review article focuses on the mechanism and therapeutic potential of MSC-derived exosomes in stroke, PD, and OA in basic and clinical aspects. Link to the study >>>>> HERE
Stem cell injections and exosomes for pain >>>>> HERE
Preparation of exosomes for siRNA delivery to cancer cells >>>>> HERE
A lecture on the clinical use of exosomes >>>>> HERE