Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles: A novel therapeutic paradigm

J Cell Physiol. 2020 Feb;235(2):706-717. doi: 10.1002/jcp.29004. Epub 2019 Jun 28.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been revealed to hold great potential for the development of new treatment approaches for various diseases. However, the clinical use of these cells is limited due to their tumorigenic effects. The therapeutic benefits of MSCs are largely dependent on paracrine factors including extracellular vesicles (EVs). EVs are nano-sized bilayer membrane structures containing lipids, microRNAs and proteins which play key roles in cell-to-cell communications. Because of their lower immunogenicity, tumorigenicity, and easier management, EVs have emerged as a new promising alternative to whole-cell therapy. Therefore, this paper reviews current preclinical studies on the use of EVs derived from human umbilical cord MSCs (hucMSCs) as a therapeutic approach in treatment of several diseases including neurological, cardiovascular, liver, kidney, and bone diseases as well as the cutaneous wound, inflammatory bowel disease, cancers, infertility, and other disorders.

Keywords: exosomes; extracellular vesicles; hucMSCs; microvesicles; regenerative medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy / adverse effects
  • Cell-Derived Microparticles / metabolism
  • Cell-Derived Microparticles / transplantation
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Exosomes / metabolism*
  • Exosomes / transplantation*
  • Extracellular Vesicles / metabolism
  • Extracellular Vesicles / transplantation
  • Fetal Blood / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation / methods
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Umbilical Cord / cytology