Publications & Posters

Extracellular Vesicle As A Source Of Alzheimer’s Biomarkers: Opportunities And Challenges


Lee S, Mankhong S and Kang JH.

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Apr 8;20(7). pii: E1728

DOI: 10.3390/ijms20071728.


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a chronic progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by memory decline and cognitive dysfunction. Although the primary causes of AD are not clear, it is widely accepted that the accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) and consecutive hyper-phosphorylation of tau, synaptic loss, oxidative stress and neuronal death might play a vital role in AD pathogenesis. Recently, it has been widely suggested that extracellular vesicles (EVs), which are released from virtually all cell types, are a mediator in regulating AD pathogenesis. Clinical evidence for the diagnostic performance of EV-associated biomarkers, particularly exosome biomarkers in the blood, is also emerging. In this review, we briefly introduce the biological function of EVs in the central nervous system and discuss the roles of EVs in AD pathogenesis. In particular, the roles of EVs associated with autophagy and lysosomal degradation systems in AD proteinopathy and in disease propagation are discussed. Next, we summarize candidates for biochemical AD biomarkers in EVs, including proteins and miRNAs. The accumulating data brings hope that the application of EVs will be helpful for early diagnostics and the identification of new therapeutic targets for AD. However, at the same time, there are several challenges in developing valid EV biomarkers. We highlight considerations for the development of AD biomarkers from circulating EVs, which includes the standardization of pre-analytical sources of variability, yield and purity of isolated EVs and quantification of EV biomarkers. The development of valid EV AD biomarkers may be facilitated by collaboration between investigators and the industry.