Exosomes From Adipose-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Protect the Myocardium Against Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury Through Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Pathway

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Abstract

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and their secreted exosomes exert a cardioprotective role in jeopardized myocardium. However, the specific effects and underlying mechanisms of exosomes derived from adipose-derived MSCs (ADMSCs) on myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury remain largely unclear. In this study, ADMSC-derived exosomes (ADMSCs-ex) were administrated into the rats subjected to I/R injury and H9c2 cells exposed to hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R). Consequently, administration of ADMSCs-ex significantly reduced I/R-induced myocardial infarction, accompanied with a decrease in serum levels of creatine kinase-myocardial band, lactate dehydrogenase, and cardiac troponin I (cTnI). Simultaneously, ADMSCs-ex dramatically antagonized I/R-induced myocardial apoptosis, along with the upregulation of Bcl-2 and downregulation of Bax, and inhibition of Caspase 3 activity in rat myocardium. Similarly, ADMSCs-ex significantly reduced cell apoptosis and the expression of Bax, but markedly increased cell viability and the expression of Bcl-2 and Cyclin D1 under H/R. Furthermore, ADMSCs-ex observably induced the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling by attenuating I/R- and H/R-induced inhibition of Wnt3a, p-GSK-3β (Ser9), and β-catenin expression. Importantly, treatment with Wnt/β-catenin inhibitor XAV939 partly neutralized ADMSC-ex–induced antiapoptotic and prosurvival effects in H9c2 cells. In conclusion, we confirmed that ADMSCs-ex protect ischemic myocardium from I/R injury through the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.

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