Introduction: Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) therapy in recent years has gained significant
attention. Though the functional outcomes following MSC therapy for neurodegenerative diseases are
convincing, various mechanisms for the functional recovery are being debated. Nevertheless, recent studies
convincingly demonstrated that recovery following MSC therapy could be reiterated with MSC secretome
per se thereby shifting the dogma from cell therapy to cell “based” therapy. In addition to various
functional proteins, stem cell secretome also includes extracellular membrane vesicles like exosomes.
Exosomes which are of “Nano” size have attracted significant interest as they can pass through the bloodbrain
barrier far easily than macro size cells or growth factors. Exosomes act as a cargo between cells to
bring about significant alterations in target cells. As the importance of exosomes is getting unveil, it is
imperial to carry out a comprehensive study to evaluate the neuroprotective potential of exosomes as
compared to conventional co-culture or total condition medium treatments.
Objective: Thus, the present study is designed to compare the neuroprotective potential of MSC derived
exosomes with MSC-condition medium or neuron–MSC-co-culture system against kainic acid
induced excitotoxicity in in vitro condition. The study also aims at comparing the neuroprotective efficacy
of exosomes/condition medium/co-culture of two MSC viz., neural crest derived human Dental
Pulp Stem Cells (hDPSC) and human Bone-Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hBM-MSC) to identify
the appropriate MSC source for treating neurodegenerative diseases.
Result: Our results demonstrated that neuroprotective efficacy of MSC-exosomes is as efficient as
MSC-condition medium or neuron-MSC co-culture system and treating degenerating hippocampal
neurons with all three MSC based approaches could up-regulate host’s endogenous growth factor expressions
and prevent apoptosis by activating cell survival PI3K-B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) pathway.
Conclusion: Thus, the current study highlights the possibilities of treating neurodegenerative diseases
with “Nano” size exosomes as opposed to transplanting billions of stem cells which inherit several