Unravelling Novel Roles of Salivary Exosomes in the Regulation of Human Corneal Stromal Cell Migration and Wound Healing

Paulina Escandon, Angela Liu, Sarah E. Nicholas, Asher Khan, Kamran M. Riaz, Dimitrios Karamichos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Salivary exosomes have demonstrated vast therapeutic and diagnostic potential in numerous diseases. This study pioneers previously unexplored roles of SE in the context of corneal wound healing by utilizing primary corneal stromal cells from healthy (HCFs), type I diabetes mellitus (T1DMs), type II DM (T2DMs), and keratoconus (HKCs) subjects. Purified, healthy human SEs carrying tetraspanins CD9+, CD63+, and CD81+ were utilized. Scratch and cell migration assays were performed after 0, 6, 12, 24, and 48 h following SE stimulation (5 and 25 µg/mL). Significantly slower wound closure was observed at 6 and 12 h in HCFs with 5 µg/mL SE and T1DMs with 5 and 25 µg/mL SE. All wounds were closed by 24-hour, post-wounding. HKCs, T1DMs, and T2DMs with 25µg/mL SE exhibited a significant upregulation of cleaved vimentin compared to controls. Throm-bospondin 1 was significantly upregulated in HCFs, HKCs, and T2DMs with 25 µg/mL SE. Lastly, HKCs, T1DMs, and T2DMs exhibited a significant downregulation of fibronectin with 25 µg/mL SE. Whether SEs can be utilized to clinical settings in restoring corneal defects is unknown. This is the first-ever study exploring the role of SEs in corneal wound healing. While the sample size was small, results are highly novel and provide a strong foundation for future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4330
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • cell migration
  • corneal wound healing
  • diabetes mellitus
  • fibrosis
  • keratoconus
  • ocular diseases
  • salivary exosomes


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