Mesenchymal Stromal Cells and Their Secretome: New Therapeutic Perspectives for Skeletal Muscle Regeneration

Lorena Di Pietro, Ornella Parolini, Valentina Saccone, Francesca Esposito, Martina Sandonà, Federica Esposito, Alessia Ventura, Antonietta Rosa Silini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells found in different tissues: bone marrow, peripheral blood, adipose tissues, skeletal muscle, perinatal tissues, and dental pulp. MSCs are able to self-renew and to differentiate into multiple lineages, and they have been extensively used for cell therapy mostly owing to their anti-fibrotic and immunoregulatory properties that have been suggested to be at the basis for their regenerative capability. MSCs exert their effects by releasing a variety of biologically active molecules such as growth factors, chemokines, and cytokines, either as soluble proteins or enclosed in extracellular vesicles (EVs). Analyses of MSC-derived secretome and in particular studies on EVs are attracting great attention from a medical point of view due to their ability to mimic all the therapeutic effects produced by the MSCs (i.e., endogenous tissue repair and regulation of the immune system). MSC-EVs could be advantageous compared with the parental cells because of their specific cargo containing mRNAs, miRNAs, and proteins that can be biologically transferred to recipient cells. MSC-EV storage, transfer, and production are easier; and their administration is also safer than MSC therapy. The skeletal muscle is a very adaptive tissue, but its regenerative potential is altered during acute and chronic conditions. Recent works demonstrate that both MSCs and their secretome are able to help myofiber regeneration enhancing myogenesis and, interestingly, can be manipulated as a novel strategy for therapeutic interventions in muscular diseases like muscular dystrophies or atrophy. In particular, MSC-EVs represent promising candidates for cell free-based muscle regeneration. In this review, we aim to give a complete picture of the therapeutic properties and advantages of MSCs and their products (MSC-derived EVs and secreted factors) relevant for skeletal muscle regeneration in main muscular diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
Number of pages16
JournalFrontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • atrophy
  • extracellular vesicles
  • mesenchymal stromal cells
  • muscle
  • muscle regeneration
  • muscular dystrophy
  • secretome


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