The role of exosomes/ extracellular vesicles in neural signal transduction

Exosomes, in a broad sense extracellular vesicles (EVs), are secreted from several cells and also exist in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); they contribute to signal transduction not only between neural cells but also among hematopoietic cells. In addition to the peripheral nervous system, the association of regeneration and EVs has also been reported in the central nervous system, for example, following a spinal cord injury. Furthermore, it has become clear that major causative factors of neurodegenerative diseases are transmitted by EVs; thus, EVs are involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers from Kanazawa University outline the relationship between neurophysiology and neurological disorders centered on EV-mediated communication between neural and glial cells.

Information Transmission from an Oligodendrocyte-Derived EVs to an Axon


Glutamate is transmitted via NMDA and the AMPA receptor in oligodendrocytes by stimulation such as depolarization, and EVs production and secretion are promoted by MVBs located in the vicinity of nerve axons due to the influx of calcium. Finally, such EVs derived from oligodendrocytes exhibit neuronal protection against stimuli such as stress.

Kawahara H, Hanayama R. (2018) The Role of Exosomes/Extracellular Vesicles in Neural Signal Transduction. Biol Pharm Bull 41(8):1119-1125. [abstract]

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