Therapeutic potential of exosomes in rotator cuff tendon healing

Denton E. Connor, Jordan A. Paulus, Parinaz Jila Dabestani, Finosh K. Thankam, Matthew Dilisio, R. Michael Gross, Devendra K. Agrawal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Scopus citations


Rotator cuff tears are common musculoskeletal injuries that can cause significant pain and disability. While the clinical results of rotator cuff repair can be good, failure of tendon healing remains a significant problem. Molecular mechanisms underlying structural failure following surgical repair remain unclear. Histologically, enhanced inflammation, disorganization of the collagen fibers, calcification, apoptosis and tissue necrosis affect the normal healing process. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have the ability to provide improved healing following rotator cuff repair via the release of mediators from secreted 30–100 nm extracellular vesicles called exosomes. They carry regulatory proteins, mRNA and miRNA and have the ability to increase collagen synthesis and angiogenesis through increased expression of mRNA and release of proangiogenic factors and regulatory proteins that play a major role in proper tissue remodeling and preventing extracellular matrix degradation. Various studies have shown the effect of exosomes on improving outcome of cutaneous wound healing, scar tissue formation, degenerative bone disease and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. In this article, we critically reviewed the potential role of exosomes in tendon regeneration and propose the novel use of exosomes alone or seeded onto biomaterial matrices to stimulate secretion of favorable cellular factors in accelerating the healing response following rotator cuff repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology

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    Connor, D. E., Paulus, J. A., Dabestani, P. J., Thankam, F. K., Dilisio, M., Gross, R. M., & Agrawal, D. K. (2019). Therapeutic potential of exosomes in rotator cuff tendon healing. Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism.