We are interested in the use of modified exosomes or extracellular vesicles (EV) as a next generation repair delivery cargo in the nervous system. EV are specialized nanosized vesicles released by many cell types with different biological effects. We are interested in mechanisms of how EV communications regulate protein homeostasis or ‘proteostasis’ pathways in multiple sclerosis (MS) disease. The development of engineered EV-based nanotherapy and nanomedicine for treating MS is lacking. The delivery of therapeutic targets via EV is an innovative approach in MS treatment, and could be developed to focus on both anti-inflammation and the stimulation of CNS repair.
To combat chronic neuroinflammation and the associated cellular stress response, we concentrate on small molecular chaperone mediated EV communications. This allows us to understand the mechanisms and biological processes that lead to disease and to identify potential anti-inflammatory biomarkers enriched in the modified EV cargos. To study these processes, we evaluate the effects of modified EV in human neural and immune cells, MS samples and in experimental MS mouse models using various functional genomics, molecular biology and neuroimmunology techniques.
Although we have many hurdles to overcome, owing to the heterogeneity of EV populations, future clinical translation of engineered EV as nanomedicine may change the strategy used in treating neurodegenerative diseases.
Currently we are working on:
- Bioreactor 3D-cell culture, EV mass production and detailed characterization of modified EV.
- Defining modified EV disease limiting activities in neural, immune cells and tissues.
- Determining the activities of modified EV in MS patient lymphoid cells.
- In vivo characterization of modified EV nanotherapeutic activities by using MS mouse models.