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AbstractExtracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes, microvesicles, and oncosomes, are nano-sized particles enclosed by a lipid bilayer. EVs are released by virtually all eukaryotic cells and have been shown to contribute to intercellular communication by transporting proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. In the context of neurodegenerative diseases, EVs may carry toxic, misfolded forms of amyloidogenic proteins and facilitate their spread to recipient cells in the central nervous system (CNS). CNS-originating EVs can cross the blood–brain barrier into the bloodstream and may be found in other body fluids, including saliva, tears, and urine. EVs originating in the CNS represent an attractive source of biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases, because they contain cell- and cell state-specific biological materials. In recent years, multiple papers have reported the use of this strategy for identification and quantitation of biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and atypical parkinsonian disorders. However, certain technical issues have yet to be standardized, such as the best surface markers for isolation of cell type-specific EVs and validating the cellular origin of the EVs. Here, we review recent research using CNS-originating EVs for biomarker studies, primarily in parkinsonian disorders, highlight technical challenges, and propose strategies for overcoming them.

Original publication




Journal article


Acta Neuropathologica


Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication Date





515 - 540