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The evolving role of extracellular vesicles (exosomes) as biomarkers in traumatic brain injury: Clinical perspectives and therapeutic implications

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journal contribution
submitted on 2024-04-22, 09:00 and posted on 2024-04-22, 09:01 authored by Naushad Ahmad Khan, Mohammad Asim, Ayman El-Menyar, Kabir H. Biswas, Sandro Rizoli, Hassan Al-Thani

Developing effective disease-modifying therapies for neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) requires reliable diagnostic, disease activity, and progression indicators. While desirable, identifying biomarkers for NDs can be difficult because of the complex cytoarchitecture of the brain and the distinct cell subsets seen in different parts of the central nervous system (CNS). Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are heterogeneous, cell-derived, membrane-bound vesicles involved in the intercellular communication and transport of cell-specific cargos, such as proteins, Ribonucleic acid (RNA), and lipids. The types of EVs include exosomes, microvesicles, and apoptotic bodies based on their size and origin of biogenesis. A growing body of evidence suggests that intercellular communication mediated through EVs is responsible for disseminating important proteins implicated in the progression of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other NDs. Some studies showed that TBI is a risk factor for different NDs. In terms of therapeutic potential, EVs outperform the alternative synthetic drug delivery methods because they can transverse the blood–brain barrier (BBB) without inducing immunogenicity, impacting neuroinflammation, immunological responses, and prolonged bio-distribution. Furthermore, EV production varies across different cell types and represents intracellular processes. Moreover, proteomic markers, which can represent a variety of pathological processes, such as cellular damage or neuroinflammation, have been frequently studied in neurotrauma research. However, proteomic blood-based biomarkers have short half-lives as they are easily susceptible to degradation. EV-based biomarkers for TBI may represent the complex genetic and neurometabolic abnormalities that occur post-TBI. These biomarkers are not caught by proteomics, less susceptible to degradation and hence more reflective of these modifications (cellular damage and neuroinflammation). In the current narrative and comprehensive review, we sought to discuss the contemporary knowledge and better understanding the EV-based research in TBI, and thus its applications in modern medicine. These applications include the utilization of circulating EVs as biomarkers for diagnosis, developments of EV-based therapies, and managing their associated challenges and opportunities.

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Published in: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
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  • English



Publication Year

  • 2022

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This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Medical Corporation
  • Hamad General Hospital - HMC
  • Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (-2015)
  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Health and Life Sciences - HBKU

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