Tieu, Slobodian, Fergusson, Montroy, Burger, Stewart, Shorr, Allan, Lalu (2019) Methods and efficacy of extracellular vesicles derived from mesenchymal stromal cells in animal models of disease: a preclinical systematic review protocol Systematic reviews 8(1) 322


Over the past decade, mesenchymal stromal cells have been increasingly investigated for their therapeutic potential in several different illnesses. However, cell therapy can be limited by potentially serious adverse events including cell embolus formation and tumorigenesis. Importantly, the protective effects of mesenchymal stromal cells are largely mediated by paracrine mechanisms including release of extracellular vesicles. This systematic review intends to synthesize the current knowledge of mesenchymal stromal cell-derived extracellular vesicles as a therapeutic option for preclinical models of disease, inflammation, or injury. A systematic literature search of MEDLINE, Embase, and BIOSIS databases will be conducted. Interventional preclinical in vivo studies using extracellular vesicles derived from any tissue source of mesenchymal stromal cells will be included. Studies will be screened by abstract, and full-text by two independent reviewers. Eligible studies will undergo data extraction with subcategorization into domains based on disease. Methods utilized for extracellular vesicle characterization and isolation will be collected, as well as information on interventional traits, such as tissue source of mesenchymal stromal cells, dosage regimen, and vesicle modifications. Reported outcomes will be collected to determine which diseases studied may be impacted most from treatment with mesenchymal stromal cell-derived extracellular vesicles. This systematic review will summarize preclinical studies investigating the therapeutic efficacy of both small and large extracellular vesicles derived by mesenchymal stromal cells. Extracellular vesicles represent a possibility to harness the benefits of mesenchymal stromal cells with added benefits of reduced manufacturing costs and an improved safety profile. Hence, there has been an exponential increase in interest for developing this cell-free therapy with hundreds of preclinical studies published to date. However, a vast amount of heterogeneity between groups relates to methods of extracellular vesicle isolation, characterization, and study design. This review will capture this heterogeneity and identify the most commonly used and optimal approaches to evaluate mesenchymal stromal cell-derived extracellular vesicle treatment. A meta-analysis of outcomes within each disease domain will help elucidate which fields of research demonstrate promise for developing extracellular vesicles as a novel cell-free therapy. Summarizing this robust information on extracellular vesicles as an intervention can provide guidance for designing preclinical studies with hopes of future clinical translation.