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Biol Open. 2019 Mar 19. pii: bio.039958. doi: 10.1242/bio.039958. [Epub ahead of print]

Exosomal transfer of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells-derived miR340 attenuates endometrial fibrosis.

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Department of Medical Genetics, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, 200433, China.
Department of Medical Genetics, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, 200433, China


Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) have potential therapeutic benefit for the treatment of endometrial diseases and injury. BMSCs interact with uterus parenchymal cells by direct contact or indirect secretion of growth factors to promote functional recovery. In this study, we found that BMSCs treatment of rats subjected to mechanical damage (MD) significantly increased microRNA 340 (miR-340) levels in the regenerated endometrium. Then we employed knock-in and knock-down technologies to up-regulate or down-regulate the miR-340 level in BMSCs (miR-340+ BMSCs or miR-340- BMSCs) and their corresponding exosomes, respectively to test whether exosomes from BMSCs mediate miR-340 transfer. We found that the exosomes released from the primitive BMSCs or miR-340+ BMSCs but not miR-340- BMSCs increased the miR-340 levels in primary cultured endometrial stromal cells (ESCs) compared with the control, respectively. Further verification of this exosome-mediated intercellular communication was performed using exosomal inhibitor, GW4869. Tagging exosomes with red fluorescent protein demonstrated that exosomes were released from BMSCs and transferred to adjacent ESCs. Compared with controls, rats receiving primitive BMSCs treatment significantly improved functional recovery and down-regulated collagen 1α1, α-SMA and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 at day 14 after MD. The outcomes were significantly enhanced by miR-340+ BMSCs treatment, and were significantly weakened by miR-340- BMSCs treatment, compared with primitive BMSCs treatment. In vitro studies reveal that miR-340 transferred from BMSCs suppresses the up-regulated expression of fibrotic genes in ESCs induced by TGF-β1. These data suggest that the effective antifibrotic function of BMSCs is able to transfer miR-340 to ESCs by exosomes, and that enhancing the transfer of BMSCs-derived miR-340 is an alternative modality in preventing intrauterine adhesion.


Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells; Endometrium injury; Exosomes; MicroRNA340

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