Astrocytes at the Hub of the Stress Response: Potential Modulation of Neurogenesis by miRNAs in Astrocyte-Derived Exosomes
Neurodegenerative disorders are one of the leading causes of death and disability and one of the biggest burdens on health care systems. Novel approaches using various types of stem cells have been proposed to treat common neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, or stroke. Moreover, as the secretome of these cells appears to be of greater benefit compared to the cells themselves, the extracellular components responsible for its therapeutic benefit have been explored. Stem cells, as well as most cells, release extracellular vesicles such as exosomes, which are nanovesicles able to target specific cell types and thus to modify their function by delivering proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. Exosomes have recently been tested in vivo and in vitro as therapeutic conveyors for the treatment of diseases. As such, they could be engineered to target specific populations of cells within the CNS. Considering the fact that many degenerative brain diseases have an impact on adult neurogenesis, we discuss how the modulation of the adult neurogenic niches may be a therapeutic target of stem cell-derived exosomes. These novel approaches should be examined in cellular and animal models to provide better, more effective, and specific therapeutic tools in the future.