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Research progresses of exosomes for diagnosis and treatment of central nervous system diseases

CHEN Ya-jing1, LIU Jian-rong1, YANG Guo-yuan1,2   

  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Ruijin Hospital and Ruijin Hospital North, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China; 2.Neuroscience and Neuroengineering Center, Med-X Research Institute Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China
  • Online:2015-11-28 Published:2016-01-13
  • Supported by:

    National Program on Key Basic Research Project of China (973 Program), 2011CB504405; National Natural Science Foundation of China (United), U1232205


Exosomes are 30-100nm vesicles secreted automatically from multivesicular bodies into extracellular environment after multivesicular bodies fusing with plasma membrane. Enriched of bioactive substances such as lipid, protein and miRNA, exosomes exert various biological functions by binding to the receptor of target cells or through horizontal transfer of contents. As a novel way of cell-cell communication, exosomes may mediate inter-neuronal signaling through the neuro-glia interaction in central nervous system (CNS). Exosomes secreted by brain cells and stem cells play an important regulatory role in pathogenesis and damage repair mechanism of CNS diseases. Abundant researches have proven that exosomes can be regarded as biomarkers and have good potential for treatment. This paper reviews general characteristics and functions of exosomes, as well as research progresses of exosomes for diagnosis and treatment of CNS diseases.

Key words: exosomes, central nervous system, miRNA, gene therapy