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Intranasal administration of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell exosomes alleviates Parkinson's disease.

Neuroscience 2024 May 4
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common and complex neurodegenerative disease. This disease is typically characterized by the formation of Lewy bodies in multiple brain regions and dopaminergic neuronal loss in the substantia nigra pars compacta, resulting in non-motor symptoms (e.g., olfactory deficits) and motor dysfunction in the late stages. There is yet no effective cure for Parkinson's disease. Considering the neuroprotective effects of exosomes, we investigated whether intranasal administration of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell exosomes could improve behavioral functions in PD mice. First, exosomes were endocytosed by the cells in vitro and in vivo, indicating that exosomes can cross the blood-brain barrier. Second, we found that both motor and non-motor functions of the PD models were effectively improved during intranasal exosomes treatment. Finally, the activity of olfactory bulb neurons was improved and the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta was reversed. Moreover, exosomes attenuated microglia and astrocyte activation, leading to a low level of inflammation in the brain. In conclusion, our study provided a new reference for the clinical application of exosomes in the treatment of PD.

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