Exosomes induce neurogenesis of pluripotent cells

Exosomes play a role in tissue/organ development and differentiation. Retinoic acid induces differentiation of P19 cells (UD-P19) to P19 neurons (P19N) that behave like cortical neurons and express characteristic neuronal genes such as NMDA receptor subunits. Kansas State University researchers report P19N exosome-mediated differentiation of UD-P19 to P19N. Both UD-P19 and P19N released exosomes with characteristic exosome morphology, size, and common protein markers. P19N internalized significantly higher number of Dil-P19N exosomes as compared to UD-P19 with accumulation in the perinuclear region. Continuous exposure of UD-P19 to P19N exosomes for six days induced formation of small-sized embryoid bodies that differentiated into MAP2-/GluN2B-positive neurons recapitulating RA-induction of neurogenesis. Incubation with UD-P19 exosomes for six days did not affect UD-P19. Small RNA-seq identified enrichment of P19N exosomes with pro-neurogenic non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) such as miR-9, let-7, MALAT1 and depleted with ncRNAs involved in maintenance of stem cell characteristics. UD-P19 exosomes were rich with ncRNAs required for maintenance of stemness. P19N exosomes provide an alternative method to genetic modifications for cellular differentiation of neurons. These novel findings on exosomes-mediated differentiation of UD-P19 to P19 neurons provide tools to study pathways directing neuron development/differentiation and develop novel therapeutic strategies in neuroscience.

Anji A, Anderson B, Akhtar F, Meekins DA, Ito T, Mummidi S, Kumari M. (2023) Exosomes induce neurogenesis of pluripotent P19 cells. Stem Cell Rev Rep [Epub ahead of print]. [article]

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