Myeloid extracellular vesicles: Messengers from the Demented Brain

Annamaria Nigro, Federico Colombo, Giacomo Casella, Annamaria Finardi, Claudia Verderio, Roberto Furlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Blood-borne monocyte derived cells play a pivotal, initially unrecognized, role in most central nervous system disorders, including diseases initially classified as purely neurodegenerative (i.e., Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and ALS). Their trafficking to the brain and spinal cord has been extensively studied in classical neuroinflammatory disorders such as multiple sclerosis. Central nervous system resident myeloid cells, namely microglia and perivascular macrophages, also are in the spotlight of investigations on neurological disorders. Myeloid cells, such as infiltrating macrophages and microglia, have been described as having both protective and destructive features in neurological disorders, thus identification of their functional phenotype during disease evolution would be of paramount importance. Extracellular vesicles, namely exosomes and shed vesicles, are released by virtually any cell type and can be detected and identified in terms of cell origin in biological fluids. They therefore constitute an ideal tool to access information on cells residing in an inaccessible site such as the brain. We will review here available information on extracellular vesicles detection in neurological disorders with special emphasis on neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Issue numberJAN
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroinflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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