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Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.02723

Systemic immune response to traumatic CNS injuries -are extracellular vesicles the missing link?

  • 1University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 2University of Queensland, Australia

Inflammation following traumatic injury to the central nervous system (CNS) persists long after the primary insult and is known to exacerbate cell death and worsen functional outcomes. Therapeutic interventions targeting this inflammation have been unsuccessful, which has been attributed to poor bioavailability owing to the presence of blood-CNS barrier. Recent studies have shown that the magnitude of the CNS inflammatory response is dependent on systemic inflammatory events. The acute phase response (APR) to brain injury presents an alternative strategy to modulating the secondary phase of CNS injury. However, the communication pathways between the CNS and the periphery remain poorly understood. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membrane bound nanoparticles that are regulators of intercellular communication. They are shed from cells of the CNS including microglia, astrocytes, neurons and endothelial cells, and are able to cross the blood-CNS barrier, thus providing an attractive candidate for initiating the APR after acute CNS injury. The purpose of this review is to summarise the current evidence that EVs play a critical role in the APR following CNS injuries.

Keywords: extracellular vesicles, Traumatic Brain Injury, spinal cord injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Inflammation, acute phase response (APR)

Received: 04 Sep 2019; Accepted: 06 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Yates, Anthony, Ruitenberg and Couch. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Daniel C. Anthony, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, daniel.anthony@pharm.ox.ac.uk