Exosomes in Myocardial Repair: Advances and Challenges in the Development of Next-Generation Therapeutics

Marta Adamiak, Susmita Sahoo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Myocardial disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Given the limited regenerative capacity of the human heart following myocardial injury, stem cell-based therapies have emerged as a promising approach for improving cardiac repair and function. The discovery of extracellular vesicles including exosomes as a key component of the beneficial function of stem cells has generated hope for their use to advance cell-based regenerative therapies for cardiac repair. Exosomes secreted from stem cells are membranous bionanovesicles, naturally loaded with various proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. They have been found to have anti-apoptotic, anti-fibrotic, as well as pro-angiogenic effects, all of which are crucial to restore function of the damaged myocardium. In this brief review, we will focus on the latest research and debates on cardiac repair and regenerative potential of exosomes from a variety of sources such as cardiac and non-cardiac stem and progenitor cells, somatic cells, and body fluids. We will also highlight important barriers involved in translating these findings into developing clinically suitable exosome-based therapies. In this issue of Molecular Therapy, Adamiak and Sahoo summarize recent findings on the properties and role of exosomes as therapeutic tools in the context of cardiovascular disease. The authors also discuss current challenges and opportunities for translation of exosomes research into clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1635-1643
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Therapy
Issue number7
StatePublished - 5 Jul 2018


  • exosomes
  • extracellular vesicles
  • heart repair
  • stem cells
  • therapeutics


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