Home 5 Frank's Column 5 The Promise of iPSC Vesicles for Vertebral Disk Repair

The Promise of iPSC Vesicles for Vertebral Disk Repair

Take any old skin cell (or a million or so), add the four Yamanaka Factors reversing it’s/their age to make it/them into near embryonic stem cells (induced pluripotent mesenchymal stem cells or iMSCs), feed them and let them multiply, then harvest the signaling chemicals they secrete in vesicles from this soup, and you have a serum that can, at least, slow the degradation of spinal disks. Actually, not that simple; lots of details and safeguards to be worked out, but that is the essential promise of this recent mouse study:

In the conclusions of the study find this quote: [My explanation of the abbreviations withstanding]

This is the first study to evaluate the therapeutic effects of iMSC-sEVs [induced Mesenchymal Stem Cells and the extra-cellular vesicles they secrete] on IVDD [Inter-vertebral Disk Degeneration]. iMSC-sEVs could rejuvenate the senescence of NPCs [Nucleus Pulposus Cells – the cells forming the interior of vertebral disks] and attenuate the development of IVDD. iMSC-sEVs exerted their anti-ageing effects by delivering miR-105-5p to senescent NPCs and activating the Sirt6 pathway, which is a pivotal pathway in the response to DNA repair and promotes longevity. Our findings also indicate that iMSCs are a promising MSC candidate for obtaining sEVs at a large scale, while avoiding several defects related to the present applications of MSCs, and that iMSC-sEVs could be a novel cell-free therapeutic tool for the treatment of IVDD. Notably, the effects of iMSC-sEVs on Sirt6 activation and age-related dysfunction were not entirely blocked by miR-105-5p antagomir treatment (Fig. 6c–i). This suggests that other molecular mechanisms might also be involved and requires further exploration.

This repair strategy should be available in some clinical settings in the next few years or so. My belief is that stem cell EVs will be rapidly exploited for many forms of rejuvenation in the near future. Keep your eyes on this technology. Stem Cell EVs bypass the rejection issue of stem cells, and can be used without the risk of tumorigenesis.

Sun, Y., Zhang, W. & Li, X. Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived mesenchymal stem cells deliver exogenous miR-105-5p via small extracellular vesicles to rejuvenate senescent nucleus pulposus cells and attenuate intervertebral disc degeneration. Stem Cell Res Ther 12, 286 (2021).

Frank Wilhelmi
Frank Wilhelmi

Frank Wilhelmi – Retired/consultant electronic engineer researches and reports practical strategies for optimizing health and fitness into advanced age. “I have a passion for living life to the fullest, and helping others to do the same.” A rapidly growing body of knowledge now enables us to extend our health and fitness decades beyond popular expectations.

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