Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are released by all neural cells, including neurons, oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, and microglia. The lack of adequate technology has not halted neuroscientists from investigating EVs as a mean to decipher neurodegenerative disorders, still in search of comprehensible pathogenic mechanisms and efficient treatment. EVs are thought to be one of ways neurodegenerative pathologies spread in the brain, but also one of the ways the brain tries to displace toxic proteins, making their meaning in pathogenesis uncertain. EVs, however do reach biological fluids where they can be analyzed, and might therefore constitute clinically decisive biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases in the future. Finally, if they constitute a physiological inter-cell communication system, they may represent also a very specific drug delivery tool for a difficult target such as the brain. We try to resume here available information on the role of EVs in neurodegeneration, with a special focus on Alzheimer's disease, progressive multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington's disease.
Molecular Aspects of Medicine – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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