Exosomes may constitute a more practical alternative to live cells in select stem cell-based therapies. We sought to compare exosomes from two mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) sources relevant to perinatal and pediatric diseases.

Methods: Exosomes were isolated by reagent-enhanced centrifugation from cell culture media of banked human bone marrow (bm) and amniotic fluid (af) MSCs after serum starvation. Characterization was by flow exometry for tetraspanin markers CD9, CD63, and CD81, transmission electron microscopy for size and morphology, and tunable resistive pulse sensing for size distribution and concentration. Statistical comparisons of count data were made by Poisson regression modeling and Student’s T-test.

Results: Exosomes of appropriate size and morphology were isolated with comparable expressions of CD9 (96% vs. 94%), CD63 (88% vs. 66%), and CD81 (71% vs. 63%) for bmMSC and afMSC, respectively. Total exosome yield (particles/mL) adjusted for number of cells was higher from afMSCs than bmMSCs by an estimated 25% (P b 0.001).