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Liqun Jiang, Huijie Dong, Hua Cao, Xiaofei Ji, Siyu Luan, Jing Liu
(Department of Neurology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian, Liaoning, China (mainland))
Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:3329-3335
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the accumulation of ß-amyloid peptide 1-42 and phosphorylation of tau protein in the brain. Thus far, the transfer mechanism of these cytotoxic proteins between nerve cells remains unclear. Recent studies have shown that nanoscale extracellular vesicles (exosomes) originating from cells may play important roles in this transfer process. In addition, several genetic materials and proteins are also involved in intercellular communication by the secretion of the exosomes. That proposes novel avenues for early diagnosis and biological treatment in AD, based on exosome detection and intervention. In this review, exosome-related pathways of cytotoxic protein intercellular transfer in AD, and the effect of membrane proteins on exosomes targeting cells are first introduced. The advances in exosome-related biomarker detection in AD are summarized. Finally, the advantages and challenges of reducing cytotoxic protein accumulation via exosomal intervention for AD treatment are discussed. It is envisaged that future research in exosomes may well provide new insights into the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of AD.