Many clinical studies have shown the safety and benefit of exosomes. As a result, numerous companies have been bringing exosome products to market. However, not all exosomes are the same. The cell type from which the exosomes are collected makes an enormous difference in safety and results.

Scientists have recently drawn attention to the fact that cell type matters when it comes to exosomes. Virtually every cell in the human body releases small packets of substances called exosomes. The number of exosomes and the substances inside exosomes can vary considerably, depending on the type of cell. Exosomes derived from stem cells and stromal cells have received the most research attention. That is because exosomes from stem cells contain most of the substances that provide a benefit to patients from stem cells. In other words, if you receive treatment of exosomes from stem cells, you are basically getting additional benefits from the exosomes that you would have gotten from just the stem cells themselves. However, the source of the stem cell exosomes matter.

Most of the research done in this area revolves around two types of stem cells: Exosomes taken from bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and exosomes taken from placental mesenchymal stem cells.  Bone marrow stem cells seem to have two major advantages over the placenta-derived stem cells. The first is that bone marrow stem cells have a stronger ability to modulate the immune system. The second is that bone marrow stem cells have immune privilege, which means they can avoid the body’s immune system. Specifically, placenta stem cell exosomes contain higher levels of PDL1 and HLA-G, which can make them more likely to provoke a negative immune response.

Surprisingly but reasonably, there have been of 63,000 scientific articles published on the safety and efficacy of bone marrow stem cells, but only about 1,200 on placenta stem cells.

Talk to your stem cell and exosome provider about your choices of exosomes, and make sure to ask from what cell type the exosomes are derived.

Reference: Hicok, Kevin & Vangsness, Thomas & Dordevic, Maxwell. (2020). Exosome Origins: Why the Cell Source Matters. 4. 1-4.

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