The emerging role of exosomes in Alzheimer's disease

Ageing Res Rev. 2021 Jul;68:101321. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2021.101321. Epub 2021 Mar 13.


Alzheimer's disease (AD), manifested by memory loss and a decline in cognitive functions, is the most prevalent neurodegenerative disease accounting for 60-80 % of dementia cases. But, to-date, there is no effective treatment available to slow or stop the progression of AD. Exosomes are small extracellular vesicles that carry constituents, such as functional messenger RNAs, non-coding RNAs, proteins, lipids, DNA, and other bioactive substances of their source cells. In the brain, exosomes are likely to be sourced by almost all cell types and involve in cell communication to regulate cellular functions. The yet, accumulated evidence on the roles of exosomes and their constituents in the AD pathological process suggests their significance as additional biomarkers and therapeutic targets for AD. This review summarizes the current reported research findings on exosomes roles in the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Diagnosis; Exosomes; Pathogenesis; Therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease*
  • Biomarkers
  • Exosomes*
  • Extracellular Vesicles*
  • Humans
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases*


  • Biomarkers