Brain-derived blood exosomal microRNAs: a novel approach for Parkinson’s disease diagnosis

Neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and Dementia, present complex challenges for diagnosis and treatment. Early detection and precise monitoring of disease progression are crucial for effective management. In recent years, researchers have turned their attention to brain-derived exosomes as potential indicators of neurological disease progression, offering a promising avenue for early diagnosis and intervention.

Exosomes, tiny vesicles released by cells, circulate in the bloodstream and other bodily fluids, carrying molecular cargo that reflects the physiological state of their parent cells. Among these cargoes, microRNAs (miRNAs) found in plasma extracellular vesicles (EVs) have garnered significant attention for their stability, abundance, and resistance to breakdown, making them ideal candidates for diagnostic biomarkers.

In a recent study, researchers at Yonsei University introduced a novel method using transferrin-conjugated magnetic nanoparticles (TMNs) to isolate brain-derived exosomes from the plasma of patients with neurological disorders. This TMNs technique offers several advantages, including its quick (<35 min) and cost-effective nature, requiring no high-priced ingredients or elaborate equipment for EV extraction.

The study successfully isolated EVs from 33 human plasma samples, including those from patients with PD, MS, and Dementia. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis, the researchers evaluated the potential of 8 exosomal miRNA profiles as biomarker candidates. Six exosomal miRNA biomarkers (miR-195-5p, miR-495-3p, miR-23b-3P, miR-30c-2-3p, miR-323a-3p, and miR-27a-3p) were consistently linked with all stages of PD.

The TMNs method represents a practical, cost-efficient way to isolate EVs from biological samples, offering a non-invasive approach to neurological diagnosis. Furthermore, the identification of specific miRNA biomarkers in these brain-derived exosomes holds promise for precise diagnosis and monitoring of neurological disorders, providing clinicians with valuable insights for personalized treatment strategies.

The discovery of brain-derived exosomes as potential biomarkers for neurological diseases opens new doors for early diagnosis and intervention. With further research and development, exosomal miRNA biomarkers may emerge as innovative tools for improving the management of neurological disorders, ultimately enhancing patient outcomes and quality of life.

Jang YO, Roh Y, Shin W et al (2024) Transferrin-conjugated magnetic nanoparticles for the isolation of brain-derived blood exosomal MicroRNAs: A novel approach for Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. Analytica Chimica Acta [Epub ahead of print]. [article]

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