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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 5736059, 16 pages
Review Article

Potential Therapies by Stem Cell-Derived Exosomes in CNS Diseases: Focusing on the Neurogenic Niche

1Laboratorio de Neurociencias, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Los Andes, Monseñor Alvaro del Portillo 12455, Las Condes, 7550000 Santiago, Chile
2Center for Interdisciplinary Studies on the Nervous System (CISNe), Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile
3Program for Cell Biology and Microscopy, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile
4Instituto de Anatomía, Histología y Patología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile

Received 12 February 2016; Accepted 27 March 2016

Academic Editor: Yanfang Chen

Copyright © 2016 Alejandro Luarte et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Neurodegenerative disorders are one of the leading causes of death and disability and one of the biggest burdens on health care systems. Novel approaches using various types of stem cells have been proposed to treat common neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, or stroke. Moreover, as the secretome of these cells appears to be of greater benefit compared to the cells themselves, the extracellular components responsible for its therapeutic benefit have been explored. Stem cells, as well as most cells, release extracellular vesicles such as exosomes, which are nanovesicles able to target specific cell types and thus to modify their function by delivering proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. Exosomes have recently been tested in vivo and in vitro as therapeutic conveyors for the treatment of diseases. As such, they could be engineered to target specific populations of cells within the CNS. Considering the fact that many degenerative brain diseases have an impact on adult neurogenesis, we discuss how the modulation of the adult neurogenic niches may be a therapeutic target of stem cell-derived exosomes. These novel approaches should be examined in cellular and animal models to provide better, more effective, and specific therapeutic tools in the future.