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Table 2 Dual role of MSC exosomes in the context of cancer therapy

From: Mesenchymal stem/stromal cell-derived exosomes in regenerative medicine and cancer; overview of development, challenges, and opportunities

Donor cells Cell line/condition Exosome content Function Pathway Ref
Promoting effect
 BM-MSCs MM miR-15a Enhanced MM cell proliferation (animal study) n.a [159]
 MSCs BRCA cells miR-222/223 Supported the survival and growth of cancer cells (in vitro study) Promoted quiescence in a subset of cancer cells and confers drug resistance [160]
 AT-MSCs HUVECs miR-125a Promoted angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo Repressed the expression of the angiogenic inhibitor delta-like 4 (DLL4) [111]
 AT-MSCs Breast cancer MCF7 cells n.a Promoted MCF7 migration (in vitro study) Activating Wnt signaling pathway [161]
 BM-MSCs Osteosarcoma MG63 and gastric SGC7901 cells n.a Supported MG63 and SGC7901 cell growth (in vitro study) Activating Hedgehog signaling pathway [162]
 AT-MSCs HMEC c-KIT and SCF Induced angiogenesis (animal study) Promoted survival, migration, and angiogenesis [140]
 MSCs Gastric cancer n.a Stimulated the proliferation and migration of gastric cancer cells ex vivo (animal study) Activation of the Akt pathway [163]
 AT-MSCs Glioblastoma U87MG cells line n.a Induced cell proliferation (in vitro study) n.a [164]
 GC-MSCs Gastric cancer cells miR-214, miR-221, and miR-222 Promoted tumor proliferation and migration (in vitro study) Downregulating several tumor suppressor target genes [165]
Inhibitory effect
 MSCs Breast cancer cells miR-379 Inhibition of angiogenesis, tumor amplification, and metastasis (in vitro study) Regulation of COX-2 mRNA and protein [166]
Glioblastoma U87MG cells n.a Decreased cell proliferation and induced apoptosis of glioblastoma cells (in vitro study) n.a [164]
 MSCs Gastric cancer n.a Induced drug resistance in gastric cancer cells (animal study) Triggered the activation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases (CaM-Ks) and Raf/MEK/ERK kinase cascade [167]
 BM-MSCs Glioma miR-146b Reduced glioma cell invasion, migration, viability, and expression of EGFR (animal study) Decreased EGFR and inhibited NF-κB, as well as its upstream regulator TRAF6 [168]
 MSCs Breast cancer miR-16 Suppressed angiogenesis (animal study) Downregulated VEGF expression in tumor cells in vitro and in vivo [169]
 WJ-MSCs Burkitt’s lymphoma cells miR-34a and let-7 family Arrested cell division of lymphoma cells in the S phase and induced apoptosis by using oxidative stress pathways (in vitro study) Alteration of antioxidant enzymes [170]
 AT-MSCs Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) miR-122 Increased the sensitivity of HCC cells to chemotherapeutic agents and induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest (animal study) Reduced expression of cyclin G1 (CCNG1 ) and inhibition of the PI3K/Akt pathway [171]
 BM-MSCs Breast cancer miR-23b Induced dormant phenotypes (animal study) Suppression of MARCKS gene [172]
 MSCs Breast cancer cells miR-100 Suppressed angiogenesis (in vitro study) Modulated the mTOR/HIF-1α/VEGF signaling axis [173]
 WJ-MSCs Bladder cancer cells n.a Inhibited proliferative viability and induced apoptosis (in vitro study) Downregulated phosphorylation of Akt and upregulated cleaved Caspase 3 [174]
 BM-MSCs Oral cancer miR-101-3p Inhibited proliferation, invasion, migration, and tumor growth (animal study) Downregulated type X collagen gene [175]
 BM-MSCs Leukemia THP-1 cells miR-222-3p Inhibited cell proliferation and promoted cell apoptosis (in vitro study) Negatively regulating IRF2-INPP4B signaling [176]
 AT-MSCs Ovarian A2780 and SKOV-3 cancer cells miRNAs Inhibited the proliferation and growth (in vitro study) Upregulated pro-apoptotic proteins, as well as downregulated the anti-apoptotic protein [177]
  1. Note: BM bone marrow, AT adipose tissue, UC umbilical cord, WJ Wharton’s jelly, miRs microRNAs, GC-MSCs gastric cancer-derived MSCs, MM multiple myeloma, HMEC human microvascular endothelial cells, HUVECs human umbilical vein endothelial cells, MARCKS myristoylated alanine-rich C-kinase substrate, IRF2-INPP4B interferon-regulatory factor 2 -inositol polyphosphate-4-phosphatase type-II, n.a not available