Exosomes released from human induced pluripotent stem cells-derived MSCs facilitate cutaneous wound healing by promoting collagen synthesis and angiogenesis

J Transl Med. 2015 Feb 1;13:49. doi: 10.1186/s12967-015-0417-0.


Background: Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hiPSC-MSCs) have emerged as a promising alternative for stem cell transplantation therapy. Exosomes derived from mesenchymal stem cells (MSC-Exos) can play important roles in repairing injured tissues. However, to date, no reports have demonstrated the use of hiPSC-MSC-Exos in cutaneous wound healing, and little is known regarding their underlying mechanisms in tissue repair.

Methods: hiPSC-MSC-Exos were injected subcutaneously around wound sites in a rat model and the efficacy of hiPSC-MSC-Exos was assessed by measuring wound closure areas, by histological and immunofluorescence examinations. We also evaluated the in vitro effects of hiPSC-MSC-Exos on both the proliferation and migration of human dermal fibroblasts and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) by cell-counting and scratch assays, respectively. The effects of exosomes on fibroblast collagen and elastin secretion were studied in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and quantitative reverse-transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). In vitro capillary network formation was determined in tube-formation assays.

Results: Transplanting hiPSC-MSC-Exos to wound sites resulted in accelerated re-epithelialization, reduced scar widths, and the promotion of collagen maturity. Moreover, hiPSC-MSC-Exos not only promoted the generation of newly formed vessels, but also accelerated their maturation in wound sites. We found that hiPSC-MSC-Exos stimulated the proliferation and migration of human dermal fibroblasts and HUVECs in a dose-dependent manner in vitro. Similarly, Type I, III collagen and elastin secretion and mRNA expression by fibroblasts and tube formation by HUVECs were also increased with increasing hiPSC-MSC-Exos concentrations.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that hiPSC-MSC-Exos can facilitate cutaneous wound healing by promoting collagen synthesis and angiogenesis. These data provide the first evidence for the potential of hiPSC-MSC-Exos in treating cutaneous wounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Collagen / biosynthesis*
  • Elastin / metabolism
  • Exosomes / metabolism*
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells / cytology
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Wound Healing*


  • Collagen
  • Elastin