Exosome-based delivery of super-repressor IκBα relieves sepsis-associated organ damage and mortality

Journal: Science Advances

Published: 2020-04-01

DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz6980

Affiliations: 8

Authors: 17

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Research Highlight

Designer exosomes treat sepsis in mice



Sepsis in mice can be alleviated by loading nanoscale cargo-delivery vesicles with an anti-inflammatory protein.

Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the immune system’s response to an infection damages healthy tissues and organs.

A team in South Korea co-led by KAIST scientists engineered exosomes to carry a protein that represses inflammation.

The exosomes weakened inflammatory responses in human cells.

When injected into septic mice, the exosomes were transported to the liver and spleen where they were taken up by two types of innate immune cells — neutrophils and macrophages. These immune cells serve as the first line of defence against infections, but when overactive they can trigger the excessive inflammation responsible for sepsis. Thanks to the experimental treatment, the neutrophils and macrophages produced fewer proinflammatory signalling molecules, resulting in longer survival times and reduced organ damage in the mice.

A KAIST spinoff company is now developing the exosomes for treating sepsis in people.

Supported content

  1. Science Advances 6, eaaz6980 (2020). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz6980
Institutions Share
Yonsei University Health System (YUHS), South Korea 0.41
ILIAS Biologics Inc., South Korea 0.25
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea 0.25
IVIM Technology, South Korea 0.08