Exosomes: A New Weapon to Treat the Central Nervous System
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- Braccioli, L., van Velthoven, C. & Heijnen, C.J. Mol Neurobiol (2014) 49: 113. doi:10.1007/s12035-013-8504-9
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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.