Pulsed Focused Ultrasound Enhances the Therapeutic Effect of Mesenchymal Stromal Cell-Derived Extracellular Vesicles in Acute Kidney Injury

Journal: Stem Cell Research & Therapy
Authors: Mujib Ullah, Daniel D Liu, Sravanthi Rai, Mehdi Razavi, Waldo Concepcion, Avnesh S Thakor

Abstract

Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is characterized by rapid failure of renal function and has no curative therapies. Mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC)-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) are known to carry therapeutic factors, which have shown promise in regenerative medicine applications, including AKI. However, there remains an unmet need to optimize their therapeutic effect. One potential avenue of optimization lies in pulsed focused ultrasound (pFUS), where tissues-of-interest are treated with sound waves. pFUS has been shown to enhance MSC therapy via increased cell homing, but its effects on cell-free EV therapy remain largely unexplored.

Methods: We combine pFUS pretreatment of the kidney with MSC-derived EV therapy in a mouse model of cisplatin-induced AKI.

Results: EVs significantly improved kidney function, reduced injury markers, mediated increased proliferation, and reduced inflammation and apoptosis. While pFUS did not enhance EV homing to the kidney, the combined treatment resulted in a superior therapeutic effect compared to either treatment alone. We identified several molecular mechanisms underlying this synergistic therapeutic effect, including upregulation of proliferative signaling (MAPK/ERK, PI3K/Akt) and regenerative pathways (eNOS, SIRT3), as well as suppression of inflammation.

Conclusion: Taken together, pFUS may be a strategy for enhancing the therapeutic efficacy of MSC-derived EV treatment for the treatment of AKI.

Read more: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13287-020-01922-1

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