Exosomes are cell-derived membrane bound vesicles, which facilitate cell-to-cell communication in the nervous system between neuronal and non-neuronal cells. Furthermore, circulating exosomes cross the blood-brain barrier and they function as neuroprotective molecules. Exosomes may play an important role in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) as they package, transport, and spread pathogenic misfolded proteins and dysregulated microRNAs in a prion-like disease fashion. This collaborative project aims to determine the biological role and clinical relevance of circulating exosomes in ALS pathology. We will use a low-cost and fast microfluidic-based high-throughput method (ExoChip) to isolate and quantitate circulating exosomes and to characterize molecular cargo from ALS and healthy control human samples from the University of Michigan ALS clinic. This study has the potential to support the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for ALS.
Presented at RNA Metabolism in Neurological Disease, 11th Brain Research Conference, November, 2016. San Diego, CA.
Microfluidic technologies for the isolation and characterization of circulating extracellular vesicles and evaluation of their functional role in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Presented at the American Society for Exosomes and Microvesicles, Pacific Beach, CA, October, 2017