Exosomes: A Brushed Up Approach for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Finding better ways to beat the unbeatable
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Mental Health is the least debated and most ignored health conditions in our society. Although, it is a universally known fact that our brain is the most complex, sophisticated as well as a crucial part of our body.

The brain is the central organ of our body. It comprises 100 billion neurons and consumes 20% of the total energy required by our body. The cerebral cortex contains 14-16 billion neurons and the cerebellum contains 55-70 billion neurons. The complexity of our brain can lead to certain disorders or say neurodegeneration. Neurodegeneration ultimately results in the disturbance of neural circuitry at a different level of neuronal control of the body.

Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease are progressive age-related disorders. Certain other factors associated with neurodegeneration are environmental factors, neuroinflammation, endoplasmic reticulum-associated stress, mitochondrial dysfunctioning, oxidative stress, and dysregulated proteostasis. Neurodegeneration affects not only the cognitive abilities of people but also their motor abilities and complete lifestyle.

Neurodegeneration, therefore, is an irreversible process of neuronal death caused due to intrinsic or extrinsic stimulatory factors.

What makes the therapeutic process more difficult?

No specific diagnosis, no specific therapeutic approach, the involvement of multiple factors and pathways, drug delivery to the targeted region, and no specific etiology of neurodegeneration are what make the therapeutic processes more difficult. Another problem associated with the drug delivery process is its maximal metabolism before reaching the site of action and inability to cross the most stringent barrier i.e., the blood-brain barrier which is very specific to allow entry within the brain.

Exosome; shaping the new age drug delivery system.

Exosomes are small extracellular vesicles derived from natural sources or engineered in a lab to utilize as a therapeutic molecule. The new world therapeutic companies are trying to utilize exosomes for the treatment and diagnosis of several pro-inflammatory disease and dermatological issues.

We, here at VV Biotech are currently working on the revolutionary approach of drug delivery i.e., exosomal therapeutics and tRF (t-RNA Fragments) encapsulated within exosome. Our drug molecule is an encapsulated molecule of tRFs within the exosome which has been derived naturally. Exosome works as a natural covering to facilitate the process of drug delivery and permit the passage of our drug molecule through the blood-brain barrier.

Considering the fact that neurodegeneration is associated with persistent neuroinflammation which leads to the generation of a neurotoxic environment and ultimately results in neuronal death, we tested our hypothesis to reduce neuroinflammation by downregulating the associated pro-inflammatory factors of neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, in the process of harnessing the potential of TRFs, we have successfully downregulated the inflammatory factors like TNF-α, TGF-β, IL-1A, IL-6, IL-17 on rat model and believe to target the process of neuroinflammation which is one of the factors associated with Parkinson’s disease. Aggregation of (Alpha)-Synuclein which is a primary characteristic of PD pathogenesis has remained one of the most desirable targets for the therapeutic process. Several works have been done to prevent this protein aggregation process, but it fails due to the inability to demonstrate its efficiency in the in-vivo model.

Currently, we are trying to target SNCA and other causative genes like PINK-1, LRRK-2, PARKIN, ApoE, etc., associated with the most common neurodegenerative diseases using TRFs molecule encapsulated within exosome.

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