Plant-derived exosome-like nanovesicles – a novel nanotool for disease therapy

Exosomes have emerged as crucial mediators, facilitating the transfer of biomolecules between cells. Initially discovered in 1983, exosomes are small vesicles enclosed by a phospholipid membrane, secreted by eukaryotic cells via exocytosis. Traditionally, exosomes derived from animals have been extensively studied for their potential in drug delivery due to their biocompatibility and targeting capabilities. However, recent research has unveiled a new player in the field: plant-derived exosome-like nanovesicles (PELNVs).

Pharmacological effects of PELNVs

PELNVs differ from cholesterol sphingomyelin contained in animal-derived exosomes and possess special plant-derived lipids,PELNVs has the functions of promoting liver detoxification, immune regulation, targeting, stem cell marker expression, promoting angiogenesis, inducing effects, and anti-tumor effects.

  1. Characteristics of PELNVs: PELNVs share many similarities with their animal-derived counterparts. They contain a diverse cargo of DNA, RNA, proteins, and other bioactive substances, allowing them to participate in cellular communications across tissues and organs. Moreover, PELNVs have garnered attention for their unique biological effects, including anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties, with minimal toxic side effects.
  2. Potential as Drug Delivery Carriers: The rich composition of active lipid molecules within PELNVs positions them as promising candidates for drug delivery. Unlike traditional drug carriers, PELNVs offer several advantages, including natural biocompatibility and the ability to home in on specific target cells or tissues. This makes them an attractive option for delivering therapeutic agents with precision and efficacy.
  3. Isolation and Extraction of PELNVs: Efficient isolation and extraction methods are crucial for harnessing the potential of PELNVs in drug delivery. Researchers have developed various techniques to isolate PELNVs from plant tissues, including ultracentrifugation, size exclusion chromatography, and precipitation methods. These methods aim to obtain pure and intact PELNVs for further study and application.
  4. Future Directions: The exploration of PELNVs as novel carriers for drug delivery opens up new avenues for research and innovation in the field of nanomedicine. By understanding the biological formation, effects, and isolation techniques of PELNVs, researchers can pave the way for the development of advanced drug delivery systems with enhanced efficacy and safety profiles.

Plant-derived exosome-like nanovesicles represent a promising frontier in drug delivery research. Their unique biological properties and potential as drug carriers offer exciting opportunities for the development of targeted and efficient therapeutic interventions. As scientists continue to unravel the mysteries of PELNVs, we can anticipate groundbreaking advancements in the field of nanomedicine, ultimately leading to improved treatment outcomes for various diseases.

Jin Z, Na , Lin X, Jiao R, Liu X, Huang Y. (2024) Plant-derived exosome-like nanovesicles: A novel nanotool for disease therapy. Heliyon 10(9), e30630. [article]

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