Harnessing the power of exosomes: Using exosome-delivered miRNA to modify dysregulated α-synuclein expression in PD patients


Parkinson's disease (PD), a common neurodegenerative disease, is largely caused by the aggregation α-synuclein protein in neurons, which results in severe impairment of motor function among other symptoms. α-synuclein protein levels are modulated by specific microRNAs in vivo. This study syn- thesizes the growing body of literature surrounding microRNAs and PD, identifying miR-34b and 34c as inhibitory towards α-synuclein -aggregates, among many other microRNAs. Exosomes, a small type of extracellular vesicle, have been recently used in therapeutic approaches to cancer treatment. This meta-synthesis links exosome therapy cancer research to the role exosomes play in PD pathogenesis. Previous research shows that microRNAs may be shuttled by exosomes to the regions in the brain that are implicated in PD. Using this knowledge about microRNA, this study proposes a novel gene therapy for PD using exosomes. It is hypothesized here that principles from exosome therapy can be applied to PD treatment. The research focuses on reviewing existing literature on exosome shuttle microRNA with microRNA in PD research. The study describes how since microRNAs can downreg- ulate α-synuclein protein levels to prevent aggregation formation in PD, shuttling microRNA-loaded exosomes to crucial brain regions may be used to treat Parkinson's disease. This hypothesized novel approach to PD treatment is target-specific, low in side effects and capitalizes on grant money being spent on the now-trendy exosome therapy research.


Original Research



Publication date

August 2021


251 - 256