It is known that there are billions of exosomes in the circulation and that they carry genetic instructions in the form of micro-RNAs (miRNA) to regulate the functions of nearby and distant cells. Exosomes are about one-thousandth the size of donor cells that release them. Exosomes are either released from the cell when multivesicular bodies fuse with the plasma membrane or they are released directly from the plasma membrane. These tiny vesicles were once thought to contain only unneeded cellular debris. But now there is an increasing interest in the clinical applications of exosomes because it is very clear now that tiny vesicles have specialized functions and play a key role in, for example, coagulation, intercellular signaling, and waste management. They can be used for prognosis, therapy, and biomarkers for health and disease.
One such attempt was made by the researchers from Yale School of Medicine and the Jagiellonian Univ. College of Medicine in Poland. Researchers say that they have successfully inhibited a strong immune allergic inflammatory response in the skin of mice. The results suggest the technique could be used to combat a variety of diseases.
They found that exosomes could be coated with an antibody of their choosing. These nanovesicles were able to deliver therapeutic miRNA to specific cells targeted by the antibody. In the current study, the coated exosomes delivered their miRNA cargo to immune system cells, inhibiting an active allergic disease response in the skin of mice, authors said.
“These natural nanoparticles are present throughout the body,” said Krzysztof Bryniarski of Jagiellonian Univ. and lead author of the paper. “They seem to be a superior delivery system compared to artificial nanoparticles currently in use, which often are eliminated from the body because they are sensed as artificial.”
In theory, the researchers said, the natural nanoparticles coated with chosen specific antibodies and loaded with selected miRNAs could be used to specifically target and then genetically alter crucial cells involved in allergic conditions such as asthma, autoimmune responses and potentially even cancers and neurological diseases.
- Exosomal transmission of viral resistance in Hepatitis B (medicalxpress.com)
- Nature’s own nanoparticles harnessed to target disease (rdmag.com)
- Exosomes derived from grapes communicate with intestinal stem cells (parasitediary.wordpress.com)
- Neurotransmitter-Triggered Transfer of Exosomes Mediates Oligodendrocyte – Neuron Communication (plosbiology.org)
- New Family of RNA Molecules That Play Crucial Role in Immune Response Identified (medindia.net)