The biology, function, and biomedical applications of exosomes
All cells, prokaryotes and eukaryotes, release extracellular vesicles (EVs) as part of their normal physiology and during acquired abnormalities. EVs can be broadly divided into two categories: ectosomes and exosomes. Exosomes are particularly interesting in regards to their therapeutic potential, and the study of exosomes is an active area of research for neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular dysfunction, and cancer.
About the research
This review discusses recent studies that identify exosomes as regulators of intercellular communication, indicating a potential therapeutic application using exosomes to deliver functional cargo to diseased cells. In the arena of neurodegeneration and TBI, exosomes may be neuroprotective and aid in the clearing out of excess inflammation, capitalizing on their ability to efficiently pass through the blood-brain barrier.
The antitumor action of exosomes shows promise in treatment of certain cancers, and as this research continues, exosomes exhibit even more therapeutic potentials for a range of conditions. The results of these studies offer encouragement for the development of exosomes as therapeutic agents, as is shown by the ever-increasing number of studies on their effects.