Innovative preconditioning strategies for improving the therapeutic efficacy of extracellular vesicles derived from mesenchymal stem cells in gastrointestinal diseases.

Didamoony, M. A., A. A. Soubh, A. M. Atwa, and L. A. Ahmed, "Innovative preconditioning strategies for improving the therapeutic efficacy of extracellular vesicles derived from mesenchymal stem cells in gastrointestinal diseases.", Inflammopharmacology, vol. 31, issue 6, pp. 2973-2993, 2023.


Gastrointestinal (GI) diseases have become a global health issue and an economic burden due to their wide distribution, late prognosis, and the inefficacy of recent available medications. Therefore, it is crucial to search for new strategies for their management. In the recent decades, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) therapy has attracted attention as a viable option for treating a myriad of GI disorders such as hepatic fibrosis (HF), ulcerative colitis (UC), acute liver injury (ALI), and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) due to their regenerative and paracrine properties. Importantly, recent studies have shown that MSC-derived extracellular vesicles (MSC-EVs) are responsible for most of the therapeutic effects of MSCs. In addition, EVs have revealed several benefits over their parent MSCs, such as being less immunogenic, having a lower risk of tumour formation, being able to cross biological barriers, and being easier to store. MSC-EVs exhibited regenerative, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and anti-fibrotic effects in different experimental models of GI diseases. However, a key issue with their clinical application is the maintenance of their stability and efficacy following in vivo transplantation. Preconditioning of MSC-EVs or their parent cells is one of the novel methods used to improve their effectiveness and stability. Herein, we discuss the application of MSC-EVs in several GI disorders taking into account their mechanism of action. We also summarise the challenges and restrictions that need to be overcome to promote their clinical application in the treatment of various GI diseases as well as the recent developments to improve their effectiveness. A representation of the innovative preconditioning techniques that have been suggested for improving the therapeutic efficacy of MSC-EVs in GI diseases. The pathological conditions in various GI disorders (ALI, UC, HF and NAFLD) create a harsh environment for EVs and their parents, increasing the risk of apoptosis and senescence of MSCs and thereby diminishing MSC-EVs yield and restricting their large-scale applications. Preconditioning with pharmacological agents or biological mediators can improve the therapeutic efficacy of MSC-EVs through their adaption to the lethal environment to which they are subjected. This can result in establishment of a more conducive environment and activation of numerous vital trajectories that act to improve the immunomodulatory, reparative and regenerative activities of the derived EVs, as a part of MSCs paracrine system. ALI, acute liver injury; GI diseases, gastrointestinal diseases; HF, hepatic fibrosis; HSP, heat shock protein; miRNA, microRNA; mRNA, messenger RNA; MSC-EVs, mesenchymal stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles; NAFLD, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; UC, ulcerative colitis.