Extracellular vesicles are involved in a great variety of physiological events occurring in the nervous system, such as cross talk among neurons and glial cells in synapse development and function, integrated neuronal plasticity, neuronal-glial metabolic exchanges, and synthesis and dynamic renewal of myelin. Many of these EV-mediated processes depend on the exchange of proteins, mRNAs, and noncoding RNAs, including miRNAs, which occurs among glial and neuronal cells. In addition, production and exchange of EVs can be modified under pathological conditions, such as brain cancer and neurodegeneration. Like other cancer cells, brain tumours can use EVs to secrete factors, which allow escaping from immune surveillance, and to transfer molecules into the surrounding cells, thus transforming their phenotype. Moreover, EVs can function as a way to discard material dangerous to cancer cells, such as differentiation-inducing proteins, and even drugs. Intriguingly, EVs seem to be also involved in spreading through the brain of aggregated proteins, such as prions and aggregated tau protein. Finally, EVs can carry useful biomarkers for the early diagnosis of diseases. Herein we summarize possible roles of EVs in brain physiological functions and discuss their involvement in the horizontal spreading, from cell to cell, of both cancer and neurodegenerative pathologies.
|Numero di pagine||12|
|Rivista||BioMed Research International|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2015|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes