Many cells of the nervous system have been shown to release exosomes, a subclass of secreted vesicles of endosomal origin capable of transferring biomolecules among cells: this transfer modality represents a novel physiological form of intercellular communication between neural cells. Herein, we demonstrated that progranulin (PGRN), a protein targeted to the classical secretory pathway, is also secreted in association with exosomes by human primary fibroblasts. Moreover, we demonstrated that null mutations in the progranulin gene (GRN), a major cause of frontotemporal dementia, strongly reduce the number of released exosomes and alter their composition. In vitro GRN silencing in SHSY-5Y cells confirmed a role of PGRN in the control of exosome release. It is believed that depletion of PGRN in the brain might cause neurodegeneration in GRN-associated frontotemporal dementia. We demonstrated that, along with shortage of the circulating PGRN, GRN null mutations alter intercellular communication. Thus, a better understanding of the role played by exosomes in GRN-associated neurodegeneration is crucial for the development of novel therapies for these diseases.
Neurobiology of Aging – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2016
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