Glia-Derived Extracellular Vesicles in Parkinson's Disease

Bianca Marchetti, Loredana Leggio, Francesca L'Episcopo, Silvia Vivarelli, Cataldo Tirolo, Greta Paternò, Carmela Giachino, Salvatore Caniglia, Maria Francesca Serapide, Nunzio Iraci

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Glial cells are fundamental players in the central nervous system (CNS) development and homeostasis, both in health and disease states. In Parkinson's disease (PD), a dysfunctional glia-neuron crosstalk represents a common final pathway contributing to the chronic and progressive death of dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). Notably, glial cells communicating with each other by an array of molecules, can acquire a "beneficial" or "destructive" phenotype, thereby enhancing neuronal death/vulnerability and/or exerting critical neuroprotective and neuroreparative functions, with mechanisms that are actively investigated. An important way of delivering messenger molecules within this glia-neuron cross-talk consists in the secretion of extracellular vesicles (EVs). EVs are nano-sized membranous particles able to convey a wide range of molecular cargoes in a controlled way, depending on the specific donor cell and the microenvironmental milieu. Given the dual role of glia in PD, glia-derived EVs may deliver molecules carrying various messages for the vulnerable/dysfunctional DAergic neurons. Here, we summarize the state-of-the-art of glial-neuron interactions and glia-derived EVs in PD. Also, EVs have the ability to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB), thus acting both within the CNS and outside, in the periphery. In these regards, this review discloses the emerging applications of EVs, with a special focus on glia-derived EVs as potential carriers of new biomarkers and nanotherapeutics for PD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 21 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Glia-Derived Extracellular Vesicles in Parkinson's Disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this