Purpose: The administration of cisplatin is limited due to its nephrotoxicity, and prevention of this nephrotoxicity of cisplatin is difficult. Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-derived exosomes have been implicated as a novel therapeutic approach for tissue injury.

Results: In vitro, the NRK cells pre-incubated with HUMSC-exosomes increased the Cp-inhibited cell viability, proliferation activity, and the cell proportion in G1-phase and inhibited Cp-induced cell apoptosis. Furthermore, the expression levels of apoptotic marker proteins Bim, Bad, Bax, cleaved caspase-3, and cleaved caspase-9 induced by Cp in the NRK cells were decreased by pre-incubating with HUMSC-exosomes.

Conclusion: Our findings indicated that the exosomes from HUMSCs can effectively increase the survival rate and inhibit cell apoptosis of NRK cells. Therefore, pre-treatment of HUMSC-exosomes may be a new method to improve the therapeutic effect of cisplatin.

Patients and methods: Exosomes were isolated from human umbilical cord derived mesenchymal stem cells (HUMSCs). Co-culture of normal rat renal tubular epithelial cells (NRK) and the absorption of exogenous exosomes by NRK cells were examined in vitro. Then the NRK cells were incubated with exosomes from HUMSCs and cisplatin (Cp). Cells were harvested for MTT assay, cloning formation, flow cytometry, and Western blot.