A review on the stem cell therapy and an introduction to exosomes as a new tool in reproductive medicine

Reprod Biol. 2020 Dec;20(4):447-459. doi: 10.1016/j.repbio.2020.07.002. Epub 2020 Sep 6.


Stem cell therapy and exosome therapy are the two experimental methods that are now at the center of attention. Various types of stem cells, especially mesenchymal stem cells and spermatogonial stem cells have been widely administrated in reproductive medicine. However, due to the limitation of injecting living cells, using their paracrine secretions such as exosomes seems to be a better option. Exosomes show regenerative, pro-angiogenic, anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypoxic, and anti-fibrotic characteristics. They can induce cell proliferation, cell viability, migration, oogenesis, spermatogenesis, capacitation, acrosome reaction, and embryonic implantation. Exosomes have shown promising results in regenerative medicine such as liver fibrosis, stroke, cardiac ischemia, and skin injuries. Exosomes have been used to treat reproductive diseases such as erectile dysfunction and primary ovarian insufficiency. However, the study of exosomes in reproductive medicine is limited. In this article, we are going to review some of the researches on the use of stem cells and exosomes in reproductive medicine and suggest administration of a combination of exosomes for alleviating the symptoms of endometriosis and asthenozoospermia based on previous studies.

Keywords: Exosome; Infertility; Reproductive medicine; Stem cell.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult Germline Stem Cells / transplantation
  • Animals
  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy*
  • Embryonic Development
  • Erectile Dysfunction / therapy
  • Exosomes / transplantation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility / therapy
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Oogenesis
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / therapy
  • Regenerative Medicine / methods
  • Reproductive Medicine / methods*
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Stem Cells / ultrastructure