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Placental MSCs and their exosomes as vehicles for the Na/I symporter (hNIS): A new agent for gene therapy and diagnostic

A Crespo-Barreda(1) A Redrado-Osta(3) E Iglesias(4) P Lopez-Larrubia(5) M Quintanilla(5) A de la Vieja(6) P Martin-Duque(1,2,3,7)

1:Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud (IACS); 2:Fundación Araid; 3:IIS Aragón; 4:Universidad San Jorge; 5:IIB Alberto Sols (CSIC); 6:Instituto de Salud Carlos III; 7:Universidad de Zaragoza

The Na/ I symporter gene (hNIS) is expressed in the thyroid and allows the accumulation of iodine from the diet. Moreover, it is widely used (i) as a reporter gene for molecular imaging (when the positron emitter isotope is I¹²⁴ for PET or Tc⁹⁹ for SPECT) or (ii) as a therapeutic gene for cancer therapy, mediated by the accumulation of I¹³¹. An unresolved challenge is how to direct this gene specifically to the tumoral area.

As hNIS is expressed at the placental tissue (because it transfers iodine to the foetus from the maternal blood), in this work we decided to study whether placental MSCs and their derivatives (exosomes) (1) express hNIS endogenously and therefore transfers the imaging and therapeutic potentials when administered with radioactive iodine (2) are capable to reach the tumoral areas when they are intravenously injected due to the tumoral tissues extravasation, with great sucess.

Our findings highlight the possibility of the use of endogenous NIS expression as therapy and opening a wide range of new possibilities to treat and diagnose cancer

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This research was supported by Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) (PI19/01007 and DTS21/00130).