A meta-analysis of exosome in the treatment of spinal cord injury

Open Med (Wars). 2021 Jul 15;16(1):1043-1060. doi: 10.1515/med-2021-0304. eCollection 2021.


Context: There are no recommended therapeutic agents for acute spinal cord injury (SCI) due to the pathophysiological complexity of the injury.

Objective: The objective of this study is to investigate the efficacy of various exosomes and potential factors impacting the efficacy of exosomes.

Methods: We searched the PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Medline, Scopus, and Cochrane Library databases to systematically collect articles comparing the locomotor function of SCI rodents undergoing exosome treatment and untreated SCI rodents. No language was preferred.

Results: Pooled analysis revealed that the locomotor function recovery of SCI rodents receiving exosomes was greatly improved (583 rats, 3.12, 95% CI: 2.56-3.67, p < 0.01; 116 mice, 2.46, 95% CI: 1.20-3.72, p < 0.01) compared to those of control rodents. The trial sequential analysis demonstrated the findings of the meta-analysis with the cumulative Z-curve crossing the upper monitoring boundary for the benefit and reaching the adjusted required information size. However, the origin of the exosome, SCI model, and administration method determined the therapeutic effect to some extent.

Conclusions: Despite the proven therapeutic effects of exosomes on SCI rodents, the results should be interpreted cautiously considering the diversity in vivo and in vitro in relation to future trials.

Keywords: acute spinal cord injury; exosome; locomotor function recovery; meta-analysis; rodent animals.