Neuromuscular junction (NMJ) formation involves morphological changes both in motor terminals and muscle membrane. The molecular mechanisms leading to NMJ formation and maintenance have not yet been fully elucidated. During the last decade, it has become clear that virtually all cells release different types of extracellular vesicles (EVs), which can be taken up by nearby or distant cells modulating their activity. Initially, EVs were associated to a mechanism involved in the elimination of unwanted material; subsequent evidence demonstrated that exosomes, and more in general EVs, play a key role in intercellular communication by transferring proteins, lipids, DNA and RNA to target cells. Recently, EVs have emerged as potent carriers for Wnt, bone morphogenetic protein, miRNA secretion and extracellular traveling. Convincing evidence demonstrates that presynaptic terminals release exosomes that are taken up by muscle cells, and these exosomes can modulate synaptic plasticity in the recipient muscle cell in vivo. Furthermore, recent data highlighted that EVs could also be a potential cause of neurodegenerative disorders. Indeed, mutant SOD1, TDP-43 and FUS/TLS can be secreted by neural cells packaged into EVs and enter in neighboring neural cells, contributing to the onset and severity of the disease.
Maggio, Serena;Ceccaroli, Paola;Polidori, Emanuela;CIOCCOLONI, ANDREA;Stocchi, Vilberto;Guescini, Michele
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