Mesenchymal stromal/stem cells and their exosomes application in the treatment of intervertebral disc disease: A promising frontier

Int Immunopharmacol. 2022 Apr:105:108537. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2022.108537. Epub 2022 Jan 29.


Today, the application of mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) and their exosomes to treat degenerative diseases has received attention. Due to the characteristics of these cells, such as self-renewability, differentiative and immunomodulatory effects, their use in laboratory and clinical studies shows promising results. However, the allogeneic transplantation problems of MSCs limit the use of these cells in the clinic. Scientists propose the application of exosomes to use from the therapeutic effect of MSCs and overcome their defects. These vesicles change the target cell behaviour and transcription profile by transferring various cargo such as proteins, mi-RNAs, and lipids. One of the degenerative tissue diseases in which MSCs and their exosomes are used in their treatment is intervertebral disc disease (IDD). Different factors such as genetics, nutrition, ageing, and environmental factors play a significant role in the onset and progression of this disease. These factors affect the cellular and molecular properties of the disc, leading to tissue destruction. Nucleus pulposus cells (NPCs) are among the most important cells involved in the pathogenesis of disc degeneration. MSCs exert their therapeutic effects by differentiating, reducing apoptosis, increasing proliferation, and decreasing senescence in NPCs. In addition, the use of MSCs and their exosomes also affects the annulus fibrosus and cartilaginous endplate cells in disc tissue and prevents disc degeneration progression.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Exosomes; Intervertebral disc disease; MSCs; Nucleus pulposus cells; Regeneration.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Exosomes* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc Degeneration* / metabolism
  • Intervertebral Disc Degeneration* / therapy
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement
  • Intervertebral Disc* / pathology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells* / metabolism
  • Nucleus Pulposus* / pathology

Supplementary concepts

  • Intervertebral disc disease