Stem Cell-Derived Exosomes in Autism Spectrum Disorder


 Nicola Alessio, Anna Lisa Brigida, Gianfranco Peluso, Nicola Antonucci, Umberto Galderisi and Dario Siniscalco


Neurodevelopmental lifelong pathologies defined by problems with social interaction, communication capacity and presence of repetitive/stereotyped clusters of behavior and interests are grouped under the definition of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD prevalence is still increasing, indicating the need to identify specific biomarkers and novel pharmacotherapies. Neuroinflammation and neuro-immune cross-talk dysregulation are specific hallmarks of ASD, offering the possibility of treating these disorders by stem cell therapy. Indeed, cellular strategies have been postulated, proposed and applied to ASD. However, less is known about the molecular action mechanisms of stem cells. As a possibility, the positive and restorative eects mediated by stem cells could be due to their paracrine activity, by which stem cells produce and release several ameliorative and anti-inflammatory molecules. Among the secreted complex tools, exosomes are sub-organelles, enriched by RNA and proteins, that provide cell-to-cell communication. Exosomes could be the mediators of many stem cell-associated therapeutic activities. This review article describes the potential role of exosomes in alleviating ASD symptoms.