Myocardial reparative functions of exosomes from mesenchymal stem cells are enhanced by hypoxia treatment of the cells via transferring microRNA-210 in an nSMase2-dependent way

<p>Hypoxia treatment enhances paracrine effect of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). The aim of this study was to investigate whether exosomes from hypoxia-treated MSCs (Exo<sup>H</sup>) are superior to those from normoxia-treated MSCs (Exo<sup>N</sup>) for myocardial repair. Mouse bone marrow-derived MSCs were cultured under hypoxia or normoxia for 24 h, and exosomes from conditioned media were intramyocardially injected into infarcted heart of C57BL/6 mouse. Exo<sup>H</sup> resulted in significantly higher survival, smaller scar size and better cardiac functions recovery. Exo<sup>H</sup> conferred increased vascular density, lower cardiomyocytes (CMs) apoptosis, reduced fibrosis and increased recruitment of cardiac progenitor cells in the infarcted heart relative to Exo<sup>N</sup>. MicroRNA analysis revealed significantly higher levels of microRNA-210 (miR-210) in Exo<sup>H</sup> compared with Exo<sup>N</sup>. Transfection of a miR-210 mimic into endothelial cells (ECs) and CMs conferred similar biological effects as Exo<sup>H</sup>. Hypoxia treatment of MSCs increased the expression of neutral sphingomyelinase 2 (nSMase2) which is crucial for exosome secretion. Blocking the activity of nSMase2 resulted in reduced miR-210 secretion and abrogated the beneficial effects of Exo<sup>H</sup>. In conclusion, hypoxic culture augments miR-210 and nSMase2 activities in MSCs and their secreted exosomes, and this is responsible at least in part for the enhanced cardioprotective actions of exosomes derived from hypoxia-treated cells.</p>