Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived Exosomes as New Remedy for the Treatment of Neurocognitive Disorders

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Feb 1;22(3):1433. doi: 10.3390/ijms22031433.


Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-derived exosomes (MSC-Exo) are nano-sized extracellular vesicles enriched with MSC-sourced neuroprotective and immunomodulatory microRNAs, neural growth factors, and anti-inflammatory cytokines, which attenuate neuro-inflammation, promote neo-vascularization, induce neurogenesis, and reduce apoptotic loss of neural cells. Accordingly, a large number of experimental studies demonstrated MSC-Exo-dependent improvement of cognitive impairment in experimental animals. In this review article, we summarized current knowledge about molecular and cellular mechanisms that were responsible for MSC-Exo-based restoration of cognitive function, emphasizing therapeutic potential of MSC-Exos in the treatment of neurocognitive disorders.

Keywords: exosomes; mesenchymal stem cells; neurocognitive disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / metabolism
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Brain Injuries
  • Cognition Disorders / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Exosomes / metabolism*
  • Extracellular Vesicles / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism
  • Neurogenesis
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neuroprotection
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism
  • Schizophrenia / metabolism