Abstract: Within the human knee infrapatellar fat pad (IFP) and synovium, resident synoviocytes and macrophages contribute to the onset and progression of inflammatory joint diseases. Our hypothesis is that IFP-derived mesenchymal stem cells (IFP-MSC) robust immunomodulatory therapeutic effects are largely exerted via their exosomal (IFP-MSC EXOs) secretome by attenuating synoviocyte and macrophage pro-inflammatory activation. IFP-MSC EXOs showed distinct miRNA and protein immunomodulatory profiles. Reactome analysis of 24 miRNAs highly present in exosomes showed their involvement in the regulation of six gene groups, including immune system. Exosomes were enriched for immunomodulatory and reparative proteins that are involved in positive regulation of cell proliferation, response to stimulus, signal transduction, signal receptor activity, and protein phosphorylation. Stimulated synoviocytes or macrophages exposed to IFP-MSC EXOs demonstrated significantly reduced proliferation, altered inflammation-related molecular profiles, and reduced secretion of pro-inflammatory molecules compared to stimulated alone. In an acute synovial/IFP inflammation rat model, IFP-MSC EXOs therapeutic treatment resulted in robust macrophage polarization towards an anti-inflammatory therapeutic M2 phenotype within the synovium/IFP tissues. Based on these findings, we propose a viable cell-free alternative to MSC-based therapeutics as an alternative approach to treating synovitis and IFP fibrosis.

Journal Link: 10.21203/rs.3.rs-1139305/v1 Journal Link: Publisher Website Journal Link: Download PDF Journal Link: Google Scholar