Information exchange executed by extracellular vesicles, including exosomes, is a newly described form of intercellular communication important in the development and physiology of neural systems. These vesicles can be released from cells, are packed with information including signaling proteins and both coding and regulatory RNAs, and can be taken up by target cells, thereby facilitating the transfer of multilevel information. Recent studies demonstrate their critical role in physiological processes, including nerve regeneration, synaptic function, and behavior. These vesicles also have a sinister role in the propagation of toxic amyloid proteins in neurodegenerative conditions, including prion diseases and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, in inducing neuroinflammation by exchange of information between the neurons and glia, as well as in aiding tumor progression in the brain by subversion of normal cells. This article provides a summary of topics covered in a symposium and is not meant to be a comprehensive review of the subject.
Emerging roles of extracellular vesicles in the nervous system
Rajendran L, Bali J, Barr MM, Court FA, Krämer-Albers EM, Picou F, Raposo G, van der Vos KE, van Niel G, Wang J, Breakefield XO. (2014) Emerging roles of extracellular vesicles in the nervous system. J Neurosci 34(46):15482-9. [abstract]