Can Exosomes Also Treat Dry Eye Syndrome?!

Referenced from: Science Advances

Stem cell exosomes have the potential to be used in medical aesthetics to aid in skin repair and regeneration, but did you know that exosomes might also be applied in eye treatments?

A recent study published in Science Advances in 2022 discovered that exosomes can alleviate the side effects of dry eye syndrome caused by GVHD (Graft Versus Host Disease), one of the main complications after transplantation. Mild GVHD can affect the quality of life of patients, while severe GVHD can threaten long-term survival.

Biologically and medically speaking, immune cells activated after transplantation continuously attack hematopoietic tissues and ocular epithelial tissues, including the cornea, conjunctiva, and lacrimal glands, causing widespread inflammation. This leads to a disorder in the ocular immune microenvironment, ultimately resulting in cell apoptosis and worsening eye tissue damage. The effectiveness of current clinical drugs in treatment is limited, and some patients with severe conditions face a lack of effective treatment options.

In a prospective clinical trial, mesenchymal stem cell exosomes (MSC-exo) used as eye drops inhibited inflammation and improved epithelial recovery, showing significant therapeutic effects in both mice and humans. Symptoms of dry eye, including stinging, burning, and redness, were alleviated after treatment, with effects surpassing those of artificial tears. For corneas damaged by inflammation, exosome treatment protected corneal structure through mechanisms such as preventing corneal epithelial degeneration, reducing pro-inflammatory gene expression, and converting M1 pro-inflammatory macrophages into M2 anti-inflammatory macrophages.

This research data further supports the potential of exosomes as a component in the treatment of eye diseases, promising to become the next target for drug development.

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Can Exosomes Also Treat Dry Eye Syndrome?!

Biologically and medically speaking, immune cells activated after transplantation continuously attack hematopoietic tissues and ocular epithelial tissues, including the cornea, conjunctiva, and lacrimal glands, causing widespread inflammation.