Adipose tissue derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (ASC)-derived extracellular vesicles (EV) have been reported to be beneficial against dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in mice. However, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. We hypothesize that the tumor necrosis factor-α-stimulated gene/protein 6 (TSG-6) in EVs is a key factor influencing the alleviation of colitis symptoms. DSS-induced colitis mice (C57BL/6, male, Naïve = 6, Sham = 8, PBS = 8 EV = 8, CTL-EV = 8, TSG-6 depleted EV = 8) were intraperitoneally administered EVs (100 ug/mice) on day 1, 3, and 5; colon tissues were collected on day 10 for histopathological, RT-qPCR, western blot and immunofluorescence analyses. In mice injected with EV, inflammation was alleviated. Indeed, EVs regulated the levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-α, IL-1β, IFN-γ, IL-6, and IL-10 in inflamed colons. However, when injected with TSG-6 depleted EV, the degree of inflammatory relief was reduced. Furthermore, TSG-6 in EVs plays a key role in increasing regulatory T cells (Tregs) and polarizing macrophage from M1 to M2 in the colon. In conclusion, this study shows that TSG-6 in EVs is a major factor in the relief of DSS-induced colitis, by increasing the number of Tregs and macrophage polarization from M1 to M2 in the colon.
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