BM mesenchymal stromal cell-derived exosomes facilitate multiple myeloma progression

Aldo M. Roccaro, Antonio Sacco, Patricia Maiso, Abdel Kareem Azab, Yu Tzu Tai, Michaela Reagan, Feda Azab, Ludmila M. Flores, Federico Campigotto, Edie Weller, Kenneth C. Anderson, David T. Scadden, Irene M. Ghobrial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

632 Scopus citations


BM mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSCs) support multiple myeloma (MM) cell growth, but little is known about the putative mechanisms by which the BM microenvironment plays an oncogenic role in this disease. Cell-cell communication is mediated by exosomes. In this study, we showed that MM BM-MSCs release exosomes that are transferred to MM cells, thereby resulting in modulation of tumor growth in vivo. Exosomal microRNA (miR) content differed between MM and normal BM-MSCs, with a lower content of the tumor suppressor miR-15a. In addition, MM BM-MSC-derived exosomes had higher levels of oncogenic proteins, cytokines, and adhesion molecules compared with exosomes from the cells of origin. Importantly, whereas MM BM-MSC-derived exosomes promoted MM tumor growth, normal BM-MSC exosomes inhibited the growth of MM cells. In summary, these in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that exosome transfer from BM-MSCs to clonal plasma cells represents a previously undescribed and unique mechanism that highlights the contribution of BM-MSCs to MM disease progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1542-1555
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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