Engineering exosomes to specifically target the mitochondria of brain cells

Mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with various health conditions, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Mitochondrial-targeting therapy aims to restore or enhance mitochondrial function to treat or alleviate these conditions. Exosomes, small vesicles that cells secrete, containing a variety of biomolecules, are critical in cell-to-cell communication and have been studied as potential therapeutic agents. Exosome-based therapy has the potential to treat both cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Combining these two approaches involves using exosomes as carriers to transport mitochondrial-targeting agents to dysfunctional or damaged mitochondria within target cells. Researchers from the Michigan Technological University have developed a new technique for engineering brain-derived exosomes that target mitochondria and has demonstrated promise in initial tests with primary neuron cells and healthy rats. This promising development represents a significant step forward in treating these debilitating conditions.

Yan X, Chen X, Shan Z, Lanrong Bi L. (2023) Engineering Exosomes to Specifically Target the Mitochondria of Brain Cells. ACS Omega [Epub ahead of print]. [article]

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