MiR-144-5p, an exosomal miRNA from bone marrow-derived macrophage in type 2 diabetes, impairs bone fracture healing via targeting Smad1

J Nanobiotechnology. 2021 Jul 30;19(1):226. doi: 10.1186/s12951-021-00964-8.


Background: Patients with diabetes have an increased risk of nonunion and delayed union of fractures. Macrophages have been shown as a key player in diabetic complications. However, it remains obscure how diabetic milieu affects macrophage-derived exosomes and its implications on osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs. In this study, we aim to define the impact of diabetic milieu on macrophage-derived exosomes, role of extracellular vesicles in intercellular communication with BMSCs, and subsequent effects on osteogenic differentiation and fracture repair.

Results: The osteogenic potential and the ability of fracture repair of exosomes derived from diabetic bone marrow-derived macrophages (dBMDM-exos) were revealed to be lower, as compared with non-diabetic bone marrow-derived macrophages (nBMDM-exos) in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, miR-144-5p levels were sharply elevated in dBMDM-exos and it could be transferred into BMSCs to regulate bone regeneration by targeting Smad1. In addition, the adverse effects of dBMDM-exos on the osteogenic potential and the ability of fracture repair were reversed through the suppression of miR-144-5p inhibition in vitro and vivo.

Conclusions: The results demonstrated an important role of exosomal miR-144-5p in bone regeneration, offering insight into developing new strategy for the improvement of fracture healing in patients with diabetes mellitus.

Keywords: Exosome; Fracture; Macrophage; MiR-144-5p; Osteoblast; Smad1.