Anti-Viral Activities of Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived Small Extracellular Vesicles Against Human Respiratory Viruses

Soo Jin Oh, Eun Na Lee, Joo Hoo Park, Jae Kyung Lee, Geum-Joon Cho, Il Ho Park, Ok Sarah Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The endemic and pandemic caused by respiratory virus infection are a major cause of mortality and morbidity globally. Thus, broadly effective antiviral drugs are needed to treat respiratory viral diseases. Small extracellular vesicles derived from human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (U-exo) have recently gained attention as a cell-free therapeutic strategy due to their potential for safety and efficacy. Anti-viral activities of U-exo to countermeasure respiratory virus-associated diseases are currently unknown. Here, we tested the antiviral activities of U-exo following influenza A/B virus (IFV) and human seasonal coronavirus (HCoV) infections in vitro. Cells were subject to IFV or HCoV infection followed by U-exo treatment. U-exo treatment significantly reduced IFV or HCoV replication and combined treatment with recombinant human interferon-alpha protein (IFN-α) exerted synergistically enhanced antiviral effects against IFV or HCoV. Interestingly, microRNA (miR)-125b, which is one of the most abundantly expressed small RNAs in U-exo, was found to suppress IFV replication possibly via the induction of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs). Furthermore, U-exo markedly enhanced RNA virus-triggered IFN signaling and ISGs production. Similarly, human nasal epithelial cells cultured at the air-liquid interface (ALI) studies broadly effective anti-viral and anti-inflammatory activities of U-exo against IFV and HCoV, suggesting the potential role of U-exo as a promising intervention for respiratory virus-associated diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number850744
JournalFrontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr 21

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Basic Science Research Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (NRF-2019R1A2C1005961), Korea University Guro Hospital (KOREA RESEARCH-DRIVEN HOSPITAL) and grant funded by Korea University Medicine (K2117311).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Oh, Lee, Park, Lee, Cho, Park and Shin.


  • ALI (Air-Liquid Interface)
  • UCMSCs
  • anti-viral
  • respiratory viruses
  • small extracellular vesicles (exosomes)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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