Yam-derived exosome-like nanovesicles stimulate osteoblast formation and prevent osteoporosis in mice

Jin Hyeon Hwang, Yu Seong Park, Hyuk Soon Kim, Dong ha Kim, Sang Hoon Lee, Chan Hyeong Lee, Seung Hoon Lee, Jung Eun Kim, Sangkyu Lee, Ho Min Kim, Hyun Woo Kim, Jihoon Kim, Wonhyo Seo, Hyo Jung Kwon, Byoung Joon Song, Do Kyun Kim, Moon Chang Baek, Young Eun Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Plants-releasing exosome-like nanovesicles (PENs) contain miRNA, bioactive lipids, mRNAs, and proteins to exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and regenerative activity. Substances extracted from yams have been reported to promote osteoblast growth in bone regeneration, which prevent weak and brittle bones in osteoporosis. Herein, we describe the beneficial effects of yam-derived exosome-like nanovesicles (YNVs) on promoting differentiation and mineralization of osteoblasts for bone regeneration in ovariectomized (OVX)-induced osteoporotic mice. YNVs were successfully isolated and characterized. YNVs stimulate the proliferation, differentiation, and mineralization of osteoblasts with increased bone differentiation markers (OPN, ALP, and COL–I). Interestingly, YNVs do not contain saponins including diosgenin and dioscin known to mainly exert osteogenic activity of yams. Instead, the osteogenic activity of YNVs was revealed to be resulted from activation of the BMP-2/p-p38-dependent Runx2 pathway. As a result, YNVs promote longitudinal bone growth and mineral density of the tibia in the OVX-induced osteoporotic mice in vivo, and these results positively correlate the significant increases in osteoblast-related parameters. In addition, the orally administered YNVs were transported through the GI tract and absorbed through the small intestine. These results showed an excellent systemic biosafety determined by histological analysis and liver/kidney toxicity tests. Taken together, YNVs can serve as a safe and orally effective agent in the treatment of osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-198
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
StatePublished - Mar 2023

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© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Bone mineral density
  • Exosome-like nanovesicles
  • Osteoporosis
  • Yam-derived nanovesicles


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