Membrane particles from mesenchymal stromal cells reduce the expression of fibrotic markers on pulmonary cells

Ana Merino*, Martin J. Hoogduijn, Maria Molina-Molina, Elena G. Arias-Salgado, Sander S. Korevaar, Carla C. Baan, Ana Montes-Worboys

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a devastating lung disease with limited treatment options in which the telomere shortening is a strong predictive factor of poor prognosis. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) administration is probed in several experimental induced lung pathologies; however, MSC might stimulate fibrotic processes. A therapy that avoids MSC side effects of transformation would be an alternative to the use of living cells. Membranes particles (MP) are nanovesicles artificially generated from the membranes of MSC containing active enzymes involved in ECM regeneration. We aimed to investigate the anti-fibrotic role of MP derived from MSC in an in vitro model of pulmonary fibrosis. Methods Epithelial cells (A549) and lung fibroblasts, from IPF patients with different telomere length, were co-cultured with MP and TGF-ß for 48h and gene expression of major pro-fibrotic markers were analyzed. Results About 90% of both types of cells effectively took up MP without cytotoxic effects. MP decreased the expression of profibrotic proteins such as Col1A1, Fibronectin and PAI-1, in A549 cells. In fibroblasts culture, there was a different response in the inhibitory effect of MP on some pro-fibrotic markers when comparing fibroblast from normal telomere length patients (FN) versus short telomere length (FS), but both types showed an inhibition of Col1A1, Tenascin-c, PAI-1 and MMP-1 gene expression after MP treatment. Conclusions MP conserve some of the properties attributed to the living MSC. This study shows that MP target lung cells, via which they may have a broad anti-fibrotic effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0248415
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3 March
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2021

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Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Merino et al.


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