Cardiac fibroblast-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived exosomes as a potential therapeutic mean for heart failure

Efrat Kurtzwald-Josefson, Naama Zeevi-Levin, Victor Rubchevsky, Neta Bechar Erdman, Orna Schwartz Rohaker, Ortal Nahum, Edith Hochhauser, Ben Ben-Avraham, Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor, Dan Aravot, Yaron D. Barac*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The limited regenerative capacity of the injured myocardium leads to remodeling and often heart failure. Novel therapeutic approaches are essential. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) differentiated into cardiomyocytes are a potential future therapeutics. We hypothesized that organ-specific reprogramed fibroblasts may serve an advantageous source for future cardiomyocytes. Moreover, exosomes secreted from those cells may have a beneficial effect on cardiac differentiation and/or function. We compared RNA from different sources of human iPSC using chip gene expression. Protein expression was evaluated as well as exosome micro-RNA levels and their impact on embryoid bodies (EBs) differentiation. Statistical analysis identified 51 genes that were altered (p ≤ 0.05), and confirmed in the protein level, cardiac fibroblasts-iPSCs (CF-iPSCs) vs. dermal fibroblasts-iPSCs (DF-iPSCs). Several miRs were altered especially miR22, a key regulator of cardiac hypertrophy and remodeling. Lower expression of miR22 in CF-iPSCs vs. DF-iPSCs was observed. EBs treated with these exosomes exhibited more beating EBs p = 0.05. vs. control. We identify CF-iPSC and its exosomes as a potential source for cardiac recovery induction. The decrease in miR22 level points out that our CF-iPSC-exosomes are naïve of congestive heart cell memory, making them a potential biological source for future therapy for the injured heart.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7215
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation1929/12


    • Exosome
    • Heart failure
    • IPSCs


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