Characterization of a purified exosome product and its effects on canine flexor tenocyte biology

Jun Qi, Qian Liu, Ramona L. Reisdorf, Soulmaz Boroumand, Atta Behfar, Steven L. Moran, Peter C. Amadio, Anne Gingery, Chunfeng Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Flexor tendon injuries and tendinopathy are very common but remain challenging in clinical treatment. Exosomes-based cell-free therapy appears to be a promising strategy for tendon healing, while limited studies have evaluated its impacts on tenocyte biology. The objective of this study was to characterize a novel purified exosome product (PEP) derived from plasma, as well as to explore its cellular effects on canine tenocyte biology. The transmission electron microscope revealed that exosomes of PEP present cup-shaped structures with the diameters ranged from 80 to 141 nm, and the NanoSight report presented that their size mainly concentrated around 100 nm. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits analysis showed that PEP was positive for CD63 and AChE expression, and the cellular uptake of exosomes internalized into tenocyte cytoplasm was observed. The cell growth assays displayed that tenocyte proliferation ability was enhanced by PEP solution in a dose-dependent manner. Tenogenic phenotype was preserved as is evident by that tendon-related genes expression (SCX, COL1A, COL3A1, TNMD, DCN, and MKX) were expressed insistently in a high level, while tenocytes were treated with 5% PEP solution. Furthermore, migration capability was maintained and total collagen deposition was increased. More interesting, dexamethasone-induced cellular apoptosis was attenuated during the incubation of tenocytes with a 5% PEP solution. These findings will provide the basic understandings about the PEP, and support the potential use of this biological strategy for tendon healing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1845-1855
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • canine model
  • exosome
  • plasma
  • tendon healing
  • tenocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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