Exosomes: mediators of neurodegeneration, neuroprotection and therapeutics

Mol Neurobiol. 2014 Feb;49(1):590-600. doi: 10.1007/s12035-013-8544-1. Epub 2013 Sep 3.


Exosomes have emerged as prominent mediators of neurodegenerative diseases where they have been shown to carry disease particles such as beta amyloid and prions from their cells of origin to other cells. Their simple structure and ability to cross the blood-brain barrier allow great opportunity to design a "makeup" with drugs and genetic elements, such as siRNA or miRNA, and use them as delivery vehicles for neurotherapeutics. Their role in neuroprotection is evident by the fact that they are involved in the regeneration of peripheral nerves and repair of neuronal injuries. This review is focused on the role of exosomes in mediating neurodegeneration and neuroprotection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Biological Transport / physiology
  • Drug Delivery Systems / trends
  • Exosomes / metabolism*
  • Genetic Therapy / trends
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / administration & dosage
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / prevention & control
  • Neuroprotective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / metabolism*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / administration & dosage
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism


  • MicroRNAs
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • RNA, Small Interfering