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MicroRNAs (miRNA), endogenous non-coding RNAs approximately 22 nucleotides long, regulate gene expression by mediating translational inhibition or mRNA degradation. Exosomes are a tool for intercellular transmission of information in which miRNA exchange plays an important role. Under pathophysiological conditions in the central nervous system (CNS), cellular transmission of exosomal miRNAs can regulate signaling pathways. Exosomal miRNAs are involved in the occurrence and development of diverse CNS diseases, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, neurodegenerative diseases, epilepsy, and glioma. The use of exosomes as transport vehicles for certain miRNAs provides a novel therapeutic strategy for CNS diseases. Furthermore, the exosomes in body fluids change with the occurrence of diseases, indicating that subtle changes in physiological and pathological processes in vivo could be recognized by analyzing exosomes. Exosomal analysis is expected to act as a novel tool for diagnosis and prediction of neurological diseases. In this review, we present the current understanding of the implications of miRNAs in CNS diseases and summarize the role and mechanism of action of exosomal miRNA in nervous system disease models.


Yifei Yu, Kun Hou, Tong Ji, Xishu Wang, Yining Liu, Yangyang Zheng, Jinying Xu, Yi Hou, Guangfan Chi. The role of exosomal microRNAs in central nervous system diseases. Molecular and cellular biochemistry. 2021 May;476(5):2111-2124

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PMID: 33528706

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