Extracellular Vesicles in Aging and Rejuvenation

Extracellular vesicles carry the bulk of communication between cells. The use of extracellular vesicles to adjust cell function and spur regeneration in aged tissues is a logical step beyond stem cell therapies. Much of the benefit of first generation stem cell therapies is mediated by the release of vesicles by transplanted cells, in the short time before those cells fail to engraft and consequently die. Harvesting, storing, and injecting these vesicles is a logistically easier prospect than working with cells; even now, exosomes from stem cell populations can be purchased at a fraction of the cost of stem cell therapies. This is, however, an enormously complex area of biology. As is the case for stem cell therapies, work towards exosome therapies is a way to bypass the lack of a full understanding of the relevant biochemistry by using known beneficial cell populations as a source of signaling to adjust cell behavior in the body. A great deal of work still lies ahead in the continued development of this form of therapy.

The once mythological idea that young blood may confer antiaging benefits has had legitimate scientific support for more than 60 years. Despite the intrigue of these early parabiosis experiments, potential mechanisms for how young blood may be exerting rejuvenating effects remained elusive until much more recently. Historically characterized as "platelet dust" with a role in thrombin formation, or simply as a cellular waste disposal system, the involvement of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in a wide array of biological processes, including aging, is becoming increasingly appreciated. There is an already substantial and quickly growing body of evidence attesting to the importance of EVs in the regulation of systemic aging as well as in a number of age-related detriments including inflammaging, cellular senescence, metabolic dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurodegeneration.

Additionally, the utilization of age-related changes in EVs as easily accessible aging biomarkers is an attractive strategy. However, the small size of EVs, the insufficiency of current methodologies, and the heterogeneity of EV producers, recipients, and affected biological processes have created extraordinary complexity in the EV field. Significant efforts have been put forth to standardize EV collection methods, characterization, and use to increase reproducibility. While these standardized recommendations offer a reasonable foundation, much work is needed to unravel the physiological significance of EVs in different biological paradigms.

Aging is characterized by a number of complex pathophysiological alterations, some of which are also intensive research topics in the field of EV biology. The intersection of these two fields offers considerable promise, constituting a new and exciting research arena. Recent work in this arena suggests that characterization and manipulation of age-related changes in EVs has the potential to provide a unique window through which to view, and perhaps one-day treat, the systemic deterioration that accompanies aging.

Link: https://doi.org/10.1096/fba.2021-00077


The question is are there any human or at least animal ongoing studies with cultured EVs

Posted by: Cuberat at October 25th, 2021 1:28 PM

Nice article, EVs are very hot topics in the recent years including the production of EVs, being safe is the reason of it being attractive (aside from still being a mystery in biology), and has potentials to overtake stem cell therapy as a temporary clinical solution before rest of the more difficult stuffs pass the clinical studies

Posted by: andy at October 31st, 2021 11:00 AM
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