October 24, 2019

Review: Promise of Extracellular Vesicles for Diagnosis and Treatment of Epilepsy

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) released from cells play vital roles in intercellular communication. Moreover, EVs released from stem cells have therapeutic properties. This review confers the potential of brain-derived EVs in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and the serum as sources of epilepsy-related biomarkers, and the promise of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-derived EVs for easing status epilepticus (SE)-induced adverse changes in the brain.

Extracellular vesicles shed from neurons and glia in the brain can also be found in the circulating blood as EVs cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Evaluation of neuron and/or glia-derived EVs in the blood of patients who have epilepsy could help in identifying specific biomarkers for distinct types of epilepsies. Such a liquid biopsy approach is also amenable for repeated analysis in clinical trials for comprehending treatment efficacy, disease progression, and mechanisms of therapeutic interventions. Extracellular vesicle biomarker studies in animal prototypes of epilepsy, in addition, could help in identifying specific micro ribonucleic acid (miRNAs) contributing to epileptogenesis, seizures, or cognitive dysfunction in different types of epilepsy. Furthermore, intranasal (IN) administration of MSC-derived EVs after SE has shown efficacy for restraining SE-induced neuroinflammation, aberrant neurogenesis, and cognitive dysfunction in an animal prototype. Clinical translation of EV therapy as an adjunct to antiepileptic drugs appears attractive to counteract the progression of SE-induced epileptogenic changes, as the risk for thrombosis or tumor is minimal with nanosized EVs. Also, EVs can be engineered to deliver specific miRNAs, proteins, or antiepileptic drugs to the brain since they incorporate into neurons and glia throughout the brain after IN administration.

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