Article

Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 113-119

Exosomes: A New Weapon to Treat the Central Nervous System

  • Luca BraccioliAffiliated withLaboratory for Neuroimmunology and Developmental Origins of Disease (NIDOD), University Medical Center UtrechtDepartment of Cell Biology, University Medical Center Utrecht
  • , Cindy van VelthovenAffiliated withLaboratory for Neuroimmunology and Developmental Origins of Disease (NIDOD), University Medical Center Utrecht
  • , Cobi J. HeijnenAffiliated withLaboratory for Neuroimmunology and Developmental Origins of Disease (NIDOD), University Medical Center UtrechtDepartment of Symptom research, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Laboratory of Neuroimmunology of Cancer-related Symptoms (NICRS); Institute of Biosciences and Technology, University of Texas Email author 

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Abstract

The potential of exosomes to treat central nervous system (CNS) pathologies has been recently demonstrated. These studies make way for a complete new field that aims to exploit the natural characteristics of these vesicles, considered for a long time as side products of physiological cellular pathways. Recently, however, the biological significance of exosomes has been evaluated and exosomes can now be viewed upon as new relevant functional entities for development of novel therapeutic strategies. In this review, we aim to summarize the state-of-the-art role of exosomes in the CNS and to speculate about possible future therapeutic applications of exosomes. In particular, we will speculate about the use of these vesicles as a substitute of cell-based therapies for the treatment of brain damage and review the potential of exosomes as drug delivery vehicles for the CNS.

Keywords

Exosomes Central nervous system Mesenchymal stem cells Brain damage Drug delivery Brain regeneration