Tenocyte-derived exosomes induce the tenogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells through TGF-β
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Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) hold great potential to treat tissue damage based on their multipotent property, and are also considered as suitable cell resources to create tissue-engineered grafts for tendon repair. However, the clinical application of MSCs is still limited by the lack of efficient methods to induce tenogenic differentiation. In this study, by performing the experiments in transwell system, we found that paracrine factors from tenocytes could induce MSCs to undergo the tenogenic differentiation. We further verified that tenocytes could secrete exosomes and these tenocyte-derived exosomes efficiently initiated the tenogenic differentiation of MSCs. Finally, we revealed that the TGF-β existing in tenocyte-derived exosomes mediated the process, as the inhibition of TGF-β signaling abolished the effects of tenocyte-derived exosomes on MSCs. By investigating the effects of tenocytes on MSCs, we found that tenocytes-derived exosomes can induce tenogenic differentiation of MSCs in a TGF-β dependent manner. These studies provided critical information about the multipotency of MSCs and suggested potential strategies for clinical translation.
KeywordsMesenchymal stem cells Tenocytes Exosomes Tenogenic differentiation
This research was supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (81101399 and 81272018).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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