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Three-Dimensional Spheroid Culture Increases Exosome Secretion from Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Kim, M | Yun, HW | Park, DY  | Choi, BH | Min, BH
Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, 15(4). : 427-436, 2018
Journal Title
Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine
BACKGROUND: Mass production of exosomes is a prerequisite for their commercial utilization. This study investigated whether three-dimensional (3D) spheroid culture of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) could improve the production efficiency of exosomes and if so, what was the mechanism involved.
METHODS: We adopted two models of 3D spheroid culture using the hanging-drop (3D-HD) and poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (poly-HEMA) coating methods (3D-PH). The efficiency of exosome production from MSCs in the 3D spheroids was compared with that of monolayer culture in various conditions. We then investigated the mechanism of the 3D spheroid culture-induced increase in exosome production.
RESULTS: The 3D-HD formed a single larger spheroid, while the 3D-PH formed multiple smaller ones. However, MSCs cultured on both types of spheroids produced significantly more exosomes than those cultured in conventional monolayer culture (2D). We then investigated the cause of the increased exosome production in terms of hypoxia within the 3D spheroids, high cell density, and non-adherent cell morphology. With increasing spheroid size, the efficiency of exosome production was the largest with the least amount of cells in both 3D-HD and 3D-PH. An increase in cell density in 2D culture (2D-H) was less efficient in exosome production than the conventional, lower cell density, 2D culture. Finally, when cells were plated at normal density on the poly-HEMA coated spheroids (3D-N-PH): they formed small aggregates of less than 10 cells and still produced more exosomes than those in the 2D culture when plated at the same density. We also found that the expression of F-actin was markedly reduced in the 3D-N-PH culture.
CONCLUSION: These results suggested that 3D spheroid culture produces more exosomes than 2D culture and the non-adherent round cell morphology itself might be a causative factor. The result of the present study could provide useful information to develop an optimal process for the mass production of exosomes.
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Journal Papers > School of Medicine / Graduate School of Medicine > Orthopedic Surgery
Ajou Authors
민, 병현  |  박, 도영
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