Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology


Our previous study has revealed that exosomes from adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) promote angiogenesis in subcutaneously transplanted gels by delivery of microRNA-31 (miR-31) which targets factor inhibiting hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (FIH1) in recipient cells. Here we hypothesized that ASC exosomes alleviate ischemic diseases through miR-31/FIH1/hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) signaling pathway. Exosomes from ASCs were characterized with nanoparticle tracking analysis, transmission electron microscopy, and immunoblotting analysis for exosomal markers. Results from immunoblotting and laser imaging of ischemic mouse hindlimb revealed that miR-31 enriched ASC exosomes inhibited FIH1 expression and enhanced the blood perfusion, respectively. These effects were impaired when using miR-31-depleted exosomes. Immunohistochemistry analysis showed that administration of exosomes resulted in a higher arteriole density and larger CD31+ area in ischemic hindlimb than miR-31-delpleted exosomes. Similarly, knockdown of miR-31 in exosomes reduced the effects of the exosomes on increasing ventricular fraction shortening and CD31+ area, and on decreasing infarct size. Exosomes promoted endothelial cell migration and tube formation. These changes were attenuated when miR-31 was depleted in the exosomes or when FIH1 was overexpressed in the endothelial cells. Furthermore, the results from immunocytochemistry, co-immunoprecipitation, and luciferase reporter assay demonstrated that the effects of exosomes on nuclear translocation, binding with co-activator p300, and activation of HIF-1α were decreased when miR-31 was depleted in the exosomes or FIH1 was overexpressed. Our findings provide evidence that exosomes from ASCs promote angiogenesis in both mouse ischemic hindlimb and heart through transport of miR-31 which targets FIH1 and therefore triggers HIF-1α transcriptional activation.

PubMed ID