Exosomes: The “Off-the-Shelf” Cellular Nanocomponent as a Potential Pathogenic Agent, a Disease Biomarker, and Neurotherapeutics

Exosomes are nanosized “off-the-shelf” lipid vesicles released by almost all cell types and play a significant role in cell–cell communication. Exosomes have already been proven to carry cell-specific cargos of proteins, lipids, miRNA, and noncoding RNA (ribonucleic acid). These vesicles can be selectively taken up by the neighboring cell and can regulate cellular functions. Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology discuss three different roles of exosomes in neuroscience. First, they discuss how exosomes play the role of a pathogenic agent as a part of cell–cell communication and transmit pathogens such as amyloid-beta (Aβ), further helping in the propagation of neurodegenerative and other neurological diseases. In the next section, the review talks about the role of exosomes in biomarker discovery in neurological disorders. Toward the end, the researchers discuss how exosomes can be harnessed and engineered for therapeutic purposes in different brain diseases. This review is based on the current knowledge generated in this field and our comprehension of this domain.

Schematic representation of roles of exosomes in three different fields

(A) The blue sphere represents MVB, and the red sphere represents the exosome; this section of the figure represents the release of pathogenic cargo from the exosome and subsequent disease transmission. (B) Therapeutic potential of surface engineered cargo loaded exosome and subsequent recovery from disease condition. (C) Exosomes released from the disease-affected cell can cross the BBB and can be found in blood circulation, which can be utilized in noninvasive biomarker discovery. 

Ghosh S, Ghosh S. (2022) Exosome: The “Off-the-Shelf” Cellular Nanocomponent as a Potential Pathogenic Agent, a Disease Biomarker, and Neurotherapeutics. Front Pharmacol [Epub ahead of print]. [article]

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