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    Mesenchymal Stem Cells Attenuate Renal Fibrosis via Exosomes-Mediated Delivery of microRNA Let-7i-5p Antagomir. International journal of nanomedicine BACKGROUND:Renal fibrosis is a chronic and progressive process affecting kidneys in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Mesenchymal stem cells-derived exosomes (MSCs-Exo) have been shown to alleviate renal fibrosis and injury, but the mechanism of MSCs-Exo-induced renal protection remains unknown. METHODS:In this study, MSCs were transfected with let-7i-5p antagomir (anti-let-7i-5p), and then exosomes were isolated from the transfected MSCs to deliver anti-let-7i-5p oligonucleotides to inhibit the level of let-7i-5p in kidney tubular epithelial cells (NRK-52E). RESULTS:In both NRK-52E cells stimulated by TGF-β1 and the mouse kidneys after unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO), we demonstrated increased level of let-7i-5p. In addition, MSCs-Exo can deliver anti-let-7i-5p to reduce the level of let-7i-5p in NRK-52E cells and increase the expression of its target gene TSC1. Moreover, exosomal anti-let-7i-5p reduced extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition and attenuated epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process in transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1)-stimulated NRK-52E cells and in the kidneys of UUO-treated mice. Meanwhile, mice received exosomal anti-let-7i-5p displayed reduced renal fibrosis and improved kidney function when challenged with UUO. Furthermore, exosomal anti-let-7i-5p promoted the activation the tuberous sclerosis complex subunit 1/mammalian target of rapamycin (TSC1/mTOR) signaling pathway in vivo and in vitro. CONCLUSION:In conclusion, exosomal anti-let-7i-5p from MSCs exerts anti-fibrotic effects in TGF-β1-induced fibrogenic responses in NRK52E cells in vitro as well as in UUO-induced renal fibrosis model in vivo. These results provided a novel perspective on improving renal fibrosis by MSCs-Exo. 10.2147/IJN.S299969